Report: Ricketts Still Weighing Cubs’ TV Options
(CBS) The Cubs’ television contract with WGN expires at the end of this season, and team owner Tom Ricketts is still weighing options for the organization’s next contract, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday night.
The Cubs exercised an option last year to end their agreement with WGN following the 2014 season, so around 70-some games are up for broadcast grabs. Most of the other Cubs games are shown on CSN Chicago, a contract that runs through the end of the 2019 season.
In January, the Tribune reported the Cubs receive about $500,000 per game from CSN and around $250,000 from WGN, and they were looking to receive more from the games on WGN’s side.
Where that increased money might come from is still up in the air, with Ricketts telling the Tribune on Monday, “There are a lot of discussions and a lot of options on the table.”
“The biggest challenge for us on the business side is to make sure the decisions we make over the next few years on our media rights will be the ones that makes the most sense for the organization and give us the most financial flexibility moving forward,” Ricketts said, according to the Tribune. “The good news is it’s going to be great for the team. Those are going to be big dollars, and those are going to be dollars that go back on the field.’’
There’s been speculation that Fox could launch a regional sports network with the Cubs in 2020. Using a multicast station could also be an option, the Tribune reported. A multi-cast outlet is a sub-channel for local over-the-air broadcast stations, media guru Ed Sherman has explained previously, and it would allow the franchise to keep the advertising revenue through a “team-branded channel.”