“March Madness” may be engulfing much of the sports world, but opening day is drawing nigh and Superstation WGN is warming up with a host of baseball-themed movies, ahead of a slate of games in high-definition.
WGN-TV is producing all of its 2008 regular-season Chicago Cubs and White Sox games in 1080i HD. The station, which makes its feed available to Superstation WGN, is producing 71 Cubs contests and 29 Chisox games in the enhanced format. Sixty-four Cubs games and 29 White Sox games will air on WGN-DT 9.1. Eight Cubs games and 25 Sox games will air on WCIU-DT 26.1.
For its part, Superstation WGN will present 64 Cubs games, starting with the March 31 season opener as the defending National League Central champions, looking to end 100 years of World Series futility, host the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field. Superstation WGN will also broadcast live coverage of a salute to “Mr Cub” and the unveiling of the Ernie Banks tribute statue that day at 11 a.m. (ET). Leading into the game, Superstation WGN, which counts 72 million subscribers, will air 30-minute special Next Year Is Here.
Two-hour special, Cubs Forever: Celebrating 60 Years of WGN and the Cubs, will premiere April 20, with encores on the network throughout the summer.
The superstation’s inaugural White Sox game is scheduled for April 4, in the first of four televised contests against American League Central rival, the Detroit Tigers. Other highlights include an April 24 match-up against the New York Yankees; two Cubs contests in June; and a pair of August affairs against the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox. It was the White Sox with their 2005 World Series run that ended an 88-year title drought, who dethroned the Bosox, a year after the 86-year “Curse of the Bambino” was eradicated.
With several Cubs preseason games mixed in for good measure, Superstation WGN will whet hardball fans’ appetite with a number of theatricals, starting Monday, under the "Super Sweet Baseball Week" moniker. The first pitch comes March 24 with The Rookie at 8 p.m. and an encore at 10:30 p.m.
The rest of the movie roster features A League of Their Own,Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, Ferris Buehler’s Day Off (available in HD), Mr. Baseball and Mr. Destiny.
Former player, National Baseball Hall of Fame radio broadcaster for the Milwaukee Brewers and actor Bob Uecker will host WGN's "Super Sweet Baseball Week," sharing insights, humor and commentary about the sport and attendant films.