The Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago’s WGN-TV today announced a three-year extension of the station’s television rights. Though the current agreement wasn’t set to expire for another two years, the extension keeps Blackhawks hockey on “Chicago’s Very Own” through the conclusion of the 2018-19 NHL season.
WGN-TV has been one of the flagship stations for Blackhawks television broadcasts since the start of the 2008-09 season. Under the agreement, WGN-TV will broadcast 20 regular-season games each year on free, over-the-air television.
“WGN-TV is synonymous with Chicago and is the perfect partner to continue to help serve our expanding fan base,” said Blackhawks President & CEO, John McDonough. “From Lloyd Pettit to Pat Foley, WGN-TV has been a highly-valued member of the Blackhawks family.”
Featuring Emmy-winning broadcasters Pat Foley and Eddie Olczyk, Blackhawk games on WGN-TV are enormously popular; television ratings for the team’s games on WGN-TV are up more than 200% since 2008 and have increased every year during that time. The Blackhawks’ January 5th game against San Jose set a hockey ratings record for the station, with more than 275,000 households in Chicagoland tuned-in.
"The Blackhawks leadership is best in class and we are extremely happy and proud to bring the team’s games to the greatest sports fans in the country,” said Larry Wert, President of Tribune Broadcasting. "Serving our viewers and advertisers with great sports programming is part of our mission and heritage. The Chicago Blackhawks franchise and fan base has never been stronger and we expect the team’s popularity to continue growing.”