Gordon Wittenmyer points out the obvious disadvantage that the Cubs are facing with their current television rights deal.
We all know that the Cubs and WGN are synonymous, and that the Tribune Co. owned both the Cubs and the television station when the last deal was negotiated.
Did someone say sweetheart deal?
You can bet that Tom Ricketts won’t be giving any discount next time around when the current deal expires after the 2014 season. Teams like the Angels and Rangers just got new TV money that exceed $150 million per year.
‘‘You just have to know its part of the game right now,’’ Ricketts said. ‘‘It seems like it’s a factor that everyone has to look at when you’re looking at the financial resources that a team has. Good for those guys. I’m glad they’re in the American League.’’
Even the small market Padres got $75 million per. Guess what the Cubs are getting from WGN and Comcast combined?
$45 million per year, which is atrocious in comparison.
You are talking about a brand like the Cubs here. It’s hard to imagine the Cubs not being on WGN TV, and here is hoping the relationship continues, but the rates are going up as we speak.
The Cubs are still locked into their deal with Comcast Sports Net until 2019. Comcast broadcasts about half the season’s games.
The Cubs should be one of the few teams that have their own network like the Yankees and Red Sox do.
Yes, there would be enough programming to fill out a TV schedule along with the possibility of adding other local teams, including college sports. Could you imagine what kind of revenue that would bring the Ricketts family?
They not only could put that money back into the team and build a monster, but also get all the needed Wrigley projects accomplished.
As for now, the Cubs should fetch at least what the Angels got and that means about $75 million just for the 81 games they can sell.
That could go a long way in making some winning programming.