Chicago’s WGN TV has been the home of many Chicago Cubs games since 1948, but that all may change after the 2014 season.
The beloved baseball team is considering moving to a different station next year in the never-ending fight for more money, as splitting from WGN may help the Cubs increase their revenue. Cubs’ chairman Tom Ricketts addressed the concern to the Chicago Tribune, stating, “Obviously, local media rights have been increasing in value. Hopefully at some point, we will be able to get more value for our media rights. It’s just something that’s playing out over time.”
The rights to baseball games have skyrocketed during the past several years as many teams began to launch their own networks to broadcast games. For example, the Los Angeles Dodgers recently created their own television network that would require Time Warner Cable to pay the team $7 million over the next 25 years to broadcast their games. The Dodgers will earn roughly $1.8 million for each broadcast, while the Cubs only make about $400,000.
If the Cubs were to leave WGN, what would baseball fans think? Although WGN is a Chicago news station, it is broadcast in most cities throughout the country, giving America the opportunity to watch one of baseball’s most famous teams. Cubs fans reach from coast-to-coast, and leaving WGN would deprive them of watching their team multiple times a week, all because of money.
Cubs baseball is built on tradition, and ending a 65-year television contract would do nothing but take away from the nostalgia that this team creates each year. Can’t we go back to the good old days where the love of the game was more important than the money?