According to reports from Bruce Levine, Patrick Mooney and Carrie Muskat, the Cubs are set to announce a new five-year contract with WGN-TV. The games will only be available on WGN Ch.9 in the Chicagoland area.
WGN America will not be televising the games based on the superstation’s decision to move away from sports programming and focus on original programming. WGN America made the announcement last May the station would be converting from a superstation to a basic cable station and would no longer televise Chicago sports.
According to the reports, the new contract with WGN will be for the remaining 45 games not televised by Comcast SportsNet, ABC-7, ESPN or FOX. The five-year deal with WGN would lineup with the current contracts with CSN and ABC-7 and run through the 2019 season.
The Cubs would own the media rights to all of the games following the 2019 season which should lead to the team launching its own network in 2020.
The partnership between the Cubs and WGN-Ch. 9 is expected to be announced this week.
The Cubs and ABC-7/WLS-TV announced the partnership last month to televise 25 games per season for five years or through the 2019 season. The Cubs reportedly sold the rights for around $750,000, which makes the deal with ABC-7 worth around $18,750,000 per year and a little less than $94 million over five years.
Comcast SportsNet reportedly paid the Cubs $500,000 per game through 2014. Beginning with the upcoming season (2015), the Cubs will receive $650,000 per game from CSN and the price per game increases every year, maxing out at $750,000 per broadcast in 2019.
WGN paid the Cubs around $250,000 per game under the previous contract and reports suggested the Cubs were looking for WGN to step up and pay around $500,000 per game. The Cubs new deal with WGN might include a base with revenue sharing that insures the network does not lose money broadcasting Cubs games moving forward.
- Report: Cubs Talking to Tribune Media about Televising Games Next Season on WGN (Nov. 13)
- Report: Cubs Nearing a Deal with WLS-Ch. 7 to Televise 25 Games in 2015 (Dec. 11)
- Cubs and ABC-7 Announce TV Broadcast Partnership to Air 25 Games Per Year Through 2019 Season (Dec. 12)