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  #16  
Old 02-18-2013, 02:21 PM
kba kba is offline
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One thing to watch is how Tribune Co. decides to position WGN America. If they keep the channel as-is, they desperately need the Cubs broadcasts. The Cubs -- and to a lesser extent the Sox and Bulls -- are among the few things that attract a national audience and keep the channel on cable systems outside of the Midwest.

On the other hand, there have been rumors that Tribune's new owners want to remake WGN America in the mold of TBS, with more original programming. In that case, they may want to shed the Chicago identity and drop the Cubs and Sox games, just as TBS dropped the Braves.
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  #17  
Old 02-18-2013, 02:41 PM
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roylestillman roylestillman is offline
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The other point here is that these single team cable channel's economics are based pretty much on cable systems staying with package pricing. If a la carte pricing becomes law, as I suspect it might, we are back to the Sportsvision model that didn't work so well.
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  #18  
Old 02-18-2013, 02:47 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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KBA:

WTBS Superstation dropped the Braves because MLB told them if they did, they could get involved in broadcasting the sport from a national perspective (Game of the Week) as well as become a part of the postseason coverage. TBS bid enough to become part of the broadcasting operation after getting the message from MLB.

I suspect though that if they didn't bid enough to get part of the package they would have continued broadcasting the Braves games since that was an essential part of their programming.

WGN America is in the same position and since they probably aren't going to get involved from a national sense they need sports programming of a "local" variety.

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  #19  
Old 02-18-2013, 03:18 PM
WhiffleBall WhiffleBall is offline
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If the cubs could somehow figure out a way to have a dedicated channel partnership with the Bears then it would work. While the channel would probably never show a live Bears game, if they had full access to all things Bears (besides the actual games) then that would be more than enough to get them through late baseball season to spring training.
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  #20  
Old 02-18-2013, 03:19 PM
kba kba is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
KBA:

WGN America is in the same position and since they probably aren't going to get involved from a national sense they need sports programming of a "local" variety.
The question is whether the new management at Tribune Co. sees sports programming as valuable and worth paying a big price for. The new CEO is a former head of FX and OWN (Oprah's network), so there's speculation in the industry that he want to remake WGN America into some kind of specialty channel with more original programming -- maybe all dramas, all talk shows, all reality shows, or whatever. Whether Chicago-centric sports broadcasts fit into that vision is an open question.

It's clear that what WGN America is doing now isn't working. It ranks 40th in the ratings among cable networks. TBS and FX are in the top 5.
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  #21  
Old 02-18-2013, 04:37 PM
thomas35forever thomas35forever is offline
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I just don't see it. WGN always gets big ratings for Cubs games and I doubt they'll want to see that moneymaker slip away. They'll fork up whatever it takes to keep them on. Then again, they weren't interested in keeping Bozo on the air, so I also wouldn't put it past them to wave the white flag.
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  #22  
Old 02-18-2013, 04:37 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Considering most of their programming right now at night consists of 10 year old reruns of America's Funniest Videos, I can see why they are 40th.

To me, just my opinion, all the more reason to go back to the past when basically ALL WGN did was show sports as often as possible at night in the 60's and 70's, Cubs, Bulls, DePaul, Hawks (road games), and other college teams through the Hughes Television Network package.

We'll see how it all shakes out.

Lip
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  #23  
Old 02-18-2013, 07:41 PM
Lamp81 Lamp81 is offline
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As long as WGN America keeps showing local Chicago sports, I can't see why the Cubs would want to leave the WGN TV family.

The Cubs depend on out of market tourists coming in each summer to fill Wrigley Field. If WGN America doesn't broadcast those games across the country, the Cubs lose out on free marketing of the Ballpark. I couldn't find a 2013 TV schedule for the Cubs, but I wonder, does WGN show more home games then away games? Do the Cubs steer their home games onto WGN, so as to feature Wrigley Field?

They really have to take that into account if another local station like a WCIU26 or WPWR50 were to outbid WGN for broadcast rights. The Sox, would probably take a higher bid from WCIU or WPWR, as they don't rely on WGN America to fill their park. Although, when on vacation, most hotels do carry WGN, and I usually get to see at least 1 Sox game, mmostly Saturday nights.
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  #24  
Old 02-18-2013, 08:25 PM
Mr. Jinx Mr. Jinx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamp81 View Post
As long as WGN America keeps showing local Chicago sports, I can't see why the Cubs would want to leave the WGN TV family.

The Cubs depend on out of market tourists coming in each summer to fill Wrigley Field. If WGN America doesn't broadcast those games across the country, the Cubs lose out on free marketing of the Ballpark. I couldn't find a 2013 TV schedule for the Cubs, but I wonder, does WGN show more home games then away games? Do the Cubs steer their home games onto WGN, so as to feture Wrigley Field?

They really have to take that into account if another local station like a WCIU26 or WPWR50 were to outbid WGN for broadcast rights. The Sox, would probably take a higher bid from WCIU or WPWR, as they don't rely on WGN America to fill their park. Although, when on vacation, most hotels do carry WGN, and I usually get to see at least 1 Sox game, mmostly Saturday nights.
I don't think that is all that relevant anymore. The Red Sox don't have a national network like that but I'm sure they don't have problems promoting their ballpark as a tourist destination. With the proliferation of games on ESPN, MLB Network, TBS, and Fox, the Cubs will have plenty of games on national TV.
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  #25  
Old 02-18-2013, 08:36 PM
TDog TDog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Jinx View Post
I don't think that is all that relevant anymore. The Red Sox don't have a national network like that but I'm sure they don't have problems promoting their ballpark as a tourist destination. With the proliferation of games on ESPN, MLB Network, TBS, and Fox, the Cubs will have plenty of games on national TV.
About a decade ago, I was in a pub in Dublin talking sports with a man from Liverpool who was saying that anyone can play golf at St. Andrews, which would be like playing football at Wembley Stadium or (knowning I was an American) baseball at Wrigley Field. He didn't watch WGN.
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  #26  
Old 02-18-2013, 09:23 PM
Hitmen77 Hitmen77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamp81 View Post
As long as WGN America keeps showing local Chicago sports, I can't see why the Cubs would want to leave the WGN TV family.

The Cubs depend on out of market tourists coming in each summer to fill Wrigley Field. If WGN America doesn't broadcast those games across the country, the Cubs lose out on free marketing of the Ballpark. I couldn't find a 2013 TV schedule for the Cubs, but I wonder, does WGN show more home games then away games? Do the Cubs steer their home games onto WGN, so as to feture Wrigley Field?

They really have to take that into account if another local station like a WCIU26 or WPWR50 were to outbid WGN for broadcast rights. The Sox, would probably take a higher bid from WCIU or WPWR, as they don't rely on WGN America to fill their park. Although, when on vacation, most hotels do carry WGN, and I usually get to see at least 1 Sox game, mmostly Saturday nights.
If the Cubs were to leave WGN, it wouldn't be for another local over the air station. It would be to start their own regional sports network and put all their games on that channel similar to the blockbuster deal the Dodgers just signed.

I'm not saying I think the Cubs are leaving WGN in 2014 - but if and when they ever do, it won't be to another local broadcast channel.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Jinx View Post
I don't think that is all that relevant anymore. The Red Sox don't have a national network like that but I'm sure they don't have problems promoting their ballpark as a tourist destination. With the proliferation of games on ESPN, MLB Network, TBS, and Fox, the Cubs will have plenty of games on national TV.
....and don't forget the proliferation of MLB.tv. Anyone out of town who wanted to follow the Cubs (or any other team) wouldn't have to pay all that much to get every game on MLB.tv.
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  #27  
Old 02-18-2013, 09:35 PM
slavko slavko is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelrod View Post
It's how they negotiate.
First they threatened Daley, then Mesa, then Emanual, now WGN.
They also held Zell's feet to the fire by imposing new conditions just before the Cubs sale was about to close. So they're not all bad. It's How Business Is Done.
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  #28  
Old 02-18-2013, 10:40 PM
Lamp81 Lamp81 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitmen77 View Post
If the Cubs were to leave WGN, it wouldn't be for another local over the air station. It would be to start their own regional sports network and put all their games on that channel similar to the blockbuster deal the Dodgers just signed.

I'm not saying I think the Cubs are leaving WGN in 2014 - but if and when they ever do, it won't be to another local broadcast channel.




....and don't forget the proliferation of MLB.tv. Anyone out of town who wanted to follow the Cubs (or any other team) wouldn't have to pay all that much to get every game on MLB.tv.
But the time frame in question is 2015-2019, as the WGN TV deal will have expired after 2014 but their Comcast deal keeps them from having their own cable/satellite channel until 2020, at the earliest.

They would either need to move all games to CSN or sign another deal for OTA games, whether with WGN or another OTA station. I still think the side benefit of WGN America is too strong to throw that away.
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  #29  
Old 02-18-2013, 11:21 PM
DSpivack DSpivack is offline
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Originally Posted by Lamp81 View Post
But the time frame in question is 2015-2019, as the WGN TV deal will have expired after 2014 but their Comcast deal keeps them from having their own cable/satellite channel until 2020, at the earliest.

They would either need to move all games to CSN or sign another deal for OTA games, whether with WGN or another OTA station. I still think the side benefit of WGN America is too strong to throw that away.
I'm not sure why that free marketing of the ballpark matters all that much anymore. The big money is in the TV contracts.
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  #30  
Old 02-18-2013, 11:34 PM
Lamp81 Lamp81 is offline
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Originally Posted by DSpivack View Post
I'm not sure why that free marketing of the ballpark matters all that much anymore. The big money is in the TV contracts.
But the Cubs, and I assume the Sox, Bulls, and Blackhawks will not see any of that money until 2020, when the current CSN deal expires. I am assuming all 4 teams are under the same contract length, as they are all co-owners.

BTW, are the Sox and Bulls owned by the same company and/or partnerships, or is it that Jerry Reinsdorf is chairman of two completely seperate ownership groups.
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