By John Dodge
CHICAGO (CBS) — Erasing any doubts that a group of talented Chicago Little Leaguers is the sports story of the summer, the national and international title games featuring Jackie Robinson West were the most-watched television programs over the weekend.
JRW’s victory in the U.S. Championship Game drew a 13.4 household rating in Chicago, meaning about 624,000 viewers were checking out the contest.
Sunday’s International Championship Game loss delivered an even higher number: 15.0 rating, 810,000 viewers.
For both games, nearly a third of Chicago’s television homes were tuned in.
Not only did that number blow out the ratings numbers for the White Sox (0.9 rating both days) and Cubs (1.3 Saturday, 2.6 Sunday), the 11- and 12-year-olds out-delivered the Chicago Bears preseason game in Seattle.
Granted, the Bears game was on late on Friday and is only an exhibition, but it drew a 11.0 ratings in households.
JRW avenged at earlier Little League World Series loss on Saturday, defeating Nevada, 7-5, in the national title game.
The Chicago team’s rally against South Korea fell short in Sunday’s international game, as it lost 8-4.
The last time a U.S. team won the international title was 2011 (Huntington Beach, Calif.).
Las Vegas, the West Region champs, had topped Chicago, 13-2, on Aug. 17 and had outscored the opposition 33-5 before Saturday’s title game.