WGN America, ‘NewsNation’ coming to YouTube TV

By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links

WGN America is coming to YouTube TV — just in time for Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration.

The network, owned by Nexstar Broadcasting thanks to its purchase of Tribune’s broadcasting properties in 2019, carries a variety of syndicated programs during the day.

WGN America will be added to the YouTube TV lineup Jan. 19, 2021, the companies announced Dec. 1, 2020.

On Sept. 1, 2020, the network blew away three hours of its primetime schedule from 8 to 11 p.m. eastern for a new national primetime newscast called “NewsNation.”

The show has been less than a hit — its election night coverage garnered 95,000 viewers nationwide. By comparison 24 cable news networks drew between 7 and 14 million viewers that same night.

Even the quasi-sister station to WGN America, the local Chicago station WGN, drew 241,000 viewers from just the Chicago market Nov. 7, 2020.

Meanwhile, regular night airings hovered around 58,000 just a few months after launching.

By joining YouTube TV, the channel gets access to another 3 million subscribers, though the channel already reaches over 80 million households.

If “NewsNation” is able to capture a similar percentage of viewership with YouTube TV subscribers as it does with its linear cable pool, it could hit around 1 to 1.5 million viewers per night.

Nexstar already has an agreement with YouTube for it to carry its local TV stations nationwide.

Meanwhile, Nexstar and DirecTV could be facing the largest TV blackout in history if the two companies can’t reach an agreement.

Nexstar is reporting asking for over $1 billion from DirecTV to carry its 164 stations in 120 markets.