The Chicago Cubs have a date in mind for their next step toward major market domination – launching their own regional sports network.
Crane Kenney, the Cubs’ president of business operations, told Chicago radio station WSCR that the club will launch its own network by 2020, and perhaps sooner. The club can opt out of a recently-struck deal with Comcast Sportsnet that was viewed largely as a placeholder until the Cubs established their own network.
A Cubs network would only further awaken a sleeping giant within one of sport’s most preeminent brands.
“2019 is our last year with Comcast, so we’ll move over and launch our own channel in 2020,” Kenney told WSCR during an appearance to announce that station as the club’s flagship radio home.
Analysts have said that even despite a potential regional sports network bubble, a Cubs station could be valued at as much as $3 billion.
While the club may not realize that cash for nearly a decade, its $650 million renovation of Wrigley Field is well underway, and development of the area aroundWrigleyville is expected to further enrichen the club with cash that won’t be subject to Major League Baseball’s revenue-sharing pool.
The Cubs, led by a young core of players that include presumed National League Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant, broke a six-year postseason drought by advancing to the NL Championship Series this year. Bryant and fellow rookies Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber don’t figure to be free agents until after the 2021 season – right around the time the Cubs’ major TV revenue could kick in.
Credit to the USA Today who originally published this article