CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 15: Miguel Montero #47 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates with Jason Heyward #22, Chris Coghlan #8 and Ben Zobrist #18 after hitting a grand slam home run in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game one of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 15, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Chicago Cubs were a ratings bonanza for Fox in this year’s World Series, so it’s no surprise that ESPN will depend quite heavily on the 2016 Champions for Sunday Night Baseball. In the early season Sunday Night Baseball schedule announced today, the Cubs appear five times including the season opener on Sunday, April 2 against traditional rival St. Louis. They’ll have two interleague games, one against the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, in consecutive weeks. They’ll also take on the Cardinals in both June and in July.

And don’t forget that SNB will also have plenty of appearances from the Yankees (four times), Mets (three times) and the Red Sox (twice). Here’s a look at the first 12 games that have been released by ESPN:

Opening Night & Sunday Night Baseball early-season schedule:

Date Time(ET) Telecast
Apr. 2 8:30 p.m. MLB Opening Night: Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals
Apr. 9 8 p.m. Miami Marlins at New York Mets 
Apr. 16 8 p.m. St. Louis Cardinals at New York Yankees 
Apr. 23 8 p.m. Washington Nationals at New York Mets 
Apr. 30 8 p.m. Chicago Cubs at Boston Red Sox 
May 7 8 p.m. New York Yankees at Chicago Cubs 
May 14 7:30 p.m. Houston Astros at New York Yankees 
May 21 8 p.m. TBD
May 28 8 p.m. New York Mets at Pittsburgh Pirates 
June 4 7:30 p.m. St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs 
June 11 8 p.m. TBD
June 18 8 p.m. TBD
June 25 8 p.m. TBD
July  2 8 p.m. TBD
July 9 8 p.m. Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians 
July 16 8 p.m. New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox 
July 23 8 p.m. St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs 

The other games in the first half of the season will be announced at a later date. But you can see how dependent ESPN is on the glamor teams. ESPN hopes the Cubs will provide the ratings spark for Sunday Night Baseball that they did for Fox during the World Series. We shall see when the season begins.


About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.