(CBS) Brass from the Cubs and CBS Radio held a press conference early Thursday afternoon to announce a long-term broadcast rights agreement, which begins in 2015.
Here’s a few notes…
— Cubs regular-season and postseason games, as well as select spring training games, will be broadcast on WBBM Newsradio 780 AM. WBBM 105.9 FM will remain an all-news format.
— In the event that Bears games — which CBS Radio also holds rights to — in August and September overlap with Cubs games, the Bears game will be broadcast on 780 AM and the Cubs game will move to 105.9 FM.
— One big draw for the Cubs was the opportunity for cross-promotion on CBS Radio’s 126 stations in major markets across the country, including seven stations in Chicago. Those stations feature a variety of formats. The Cubs and CBS Radio will also team up on a joint venture to bring concerts to the Wrigleyville area. “It’s an intersection of music and sports,” CBS Radio president and CEO Dan Mason said.
— CBS Radio Chicago senior vice president Rod Zimmerman called the Cubs “ocean-front property” in radio. “There was no hesitation or doubt in our minds that we were going to go for it and get it,” Zimmerman said of acquiring Cubs broadcasting rights.
— Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney said that there’s no match right on the TV broadcast side like there was on the radio side. WGN Radio had the right to match an offer by CBS Radio but chose not to.
— CBS Radio’s goal in Chicago is to keep rights to the Bears, Cubs and White Sox for years to come, Zimmerman said. The White Sox’s radio home is currently WSCR 670 The Score. That deal expires at the end of the 2015 season.
— This is the 25th sports business deal for CBS Radio across the nation and the seventh for the company in Major League Baseball, Mason said.