Could Cubs jump to ESPN AM 1000 or WSCR?

Could Cubs jump to ESPN AM 1000 or WSCR?

Ed Sherman reports today that WGN radio intends on opting to renegotiate their broadcasting deal with the Cubs.

I'm told by industry sources that WGN is losing a ton of money on the Cubs broadcasts. Do they want to continue their relationship with the Cubs? You bet. However, the price to do so has to come down.

Another media source tells me this is a smart move by WGN. Yet if the Cubs were to become radio free agents following the 2014 season, there would be plenty of interest from other stations in town.

Sherman sees the Cubs having no other option other than WGN.

The Cubs don't appear to have much leverage if they want to shop their games in the market, which now is an option for them. WSCR-AM 670 is locked in with the White Sox.

I'm told both ESPN AM1000, and WSCR 670 AM would love the chance at hosting Cubs games. As far as WSCR being locked in contractually with the White Sox, I'm still digging. However, I'm told from multiple sources, given the chance, they would dump the Sox in a hurry for the Cubs.

In 2010 Tom Ricketts appeared on ESPN radio's "Lunch with a Legend" series. ESPN executives from Bristol flew in for that very lunch at Morton's. Those same execs met with Ricketts for a private lunch right after. Could it have been just a get to know you meeting? More likely it was about laying the groundwork for a relationship down the line.

What we do know is WGN radio isn't happy with their current deal. The Cubs aren't happy with their current WGN TV deal. Could the Cubs renegotiate a package that makes sense for both parties, television and radio wise? That is very much still on the table.

I was also informed back in the spring by a television executive that Comcast will make a strong play for the Cubs entire TV broadcast rights. The Cubs are currently locked into a cable non-compete with Comcast until 2020. Out of the four clubs in town that partner with Comcast, the Cubs hold the biggest share I've learned. Comcast, I'm told, is planning to silo off an additional channel dedicated to Cubs games in a potentially larger agreement.

That scenario would make the most sense for all involved. The Cubs could get their TV money they need to compete as they claim. As for the Cubs having their own network? Industry people tell me it is really difficult to foresee the Cubs operating such an ambitious project with Comcast having deals with all of the major teams in town.

Stay tuned.

Filed under: Uncategorized


Leave a comment
  • fb_avatar

    Either WGN is palying hicken ith the Cubs or they are drinking way to much of the Blackhaks kool aid. The Hawks are great but when they are bad again their ratings would make the Cubs current ratings look like the Super Bowl. All things being equal the Hawks are probably the fourth or fifth team in this town: Bears, Cubs, Bulls, Hawks & Sox(the last two could be flipped).

    Mickey Mouse (AM1000) would love to have the Cubs in his portfolio and any scheduling conflicts with the Bull can be resolve by switching games to their suster station WLS 890.

  • I am an avid Cubs, Hawks fan. Well I like most of the Chicago teams since I grew up in the Chicago area. I cannot stand Comcast! I have cable here in MN, and when they have the Cubs, Hawks or Bulls on CSN, I have to listen to a crappy stream feed by WGN. Listening to the Bears on WBBM is worse. I used to watch Cubs games all over the country. Now they funnel out WGN broadcasts and only show them in the Chicago area. Meanwhle, up here we get WGN America, which shows freaking re-runs of Walker Texas Ranger. it's BS! Get a better TV & Radio deal.These deals smell like a rat that Mayor Emmanuel would approve of.

  • I think WGN simply needs to get out of the radio deal. Cubs will be snapped up in a second. WMVP and WSCR could tie so much programming into the rights. It could happen.

  • WGN needs to revamp everything TV and radio. Start some good original programming, reality..something, anything. It's either Walker Texas Ranger or America's ...videos, zzzzzzzzz. I would welcome the change to a different radio partner.

Leave a comment