It is often difficult to find what channel the Chicago Cubs’ games are being broadcast. 

From Comcast SportsNet Chicago (which officially turns into NBC Sports Chicago on Monday) to WGN to WLS to WAOE (for us in Central Illinois), the Cubs’ TV coverage shifts more than Joe Maddon's lineup.

That won’t be a problem for the rest of this season as the Cubs seek back-to-back World Series championships for the first time since 1907-08.

TBS will be the Cubs’ home for the National League playoffs, beginning Friday with the first game of the NL Division Series at Washington (game time to be decided). Game 2 will be next Saturday before the series shifts to Wrigley Field for Game 3 on Oct. 9.

Should the Cubs beat the Nationals, you'll still find them on TBS for the NL Championship Series, likely against the Los Angeles Dodgers, starting on Oct. 14.

As usual, the World Series will be on FOX with Game 1 on Oct. 24.

TBS figures to trot out its No. 1 announcing crew for the Cubs-Nationals series. That means Ernie Johnson will handle play-by-play duties with Ron Darling and Cal Ripken Jr. as the analysts.

There won't be much dead air time. Darling likes to dissect every pitch and sometimes leaves little room for Ripken to sneak in his thoughts. Sometimes a three-man booth gets a little confusing, but Johnson seems to handle it well.

Sitting alongside Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O'Neal in TBS’ studio coverage of the NBA gives Johnson a lot of experience in letting everyone get their say.

ESPN starts the playoffs with the American League Wild Card Game at 7 p.m. Tuesday. TBS handles the NL Wild Card Game on Wednesday (also 7 p.m.) before both AL Division Series begin on Thursday on Fox Sports 1.

The end of the regular season didn't produce much drama as almost all of the playoff teams were decided except for the NL second wild card.

But the Cubs-Nationals and a possible Astros-Red Sox division series should get fans excited about the playoffs right away. 

College FB: Clemson at Virginia Tech (ABC, 7 p.m. Saturday): Former Illinois State assistant Justin Fuente has Virginia Tech rolling along. A win over the defending champs would put the Hokies in college playoff talk.

NFL: Redskins at Chiefs (ESPN, 7:30 p.m. Monday): This could be one of the best Monday night games of the season. Kansas City is fun to watch with rookie Kareem Hunt and burner Tyreek Hill opening up the offense. 

NHL: Penguins at Blackhawks (NBCSC, 7:30 p.m. Thursday): Season opener against the Stanley Cup champs will introduce some new players and some old ones (Brandon Saad, Patrick Sharp) to Chicago's lineup. 

Contact Jim Benson at



Sports Writer

Sports Writer for The Pantagraph.

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