The Cubs reportedly notified WGN-TV that it had 30 days to meet a higher assessed fair market value for the broadcast rights or the team would open negotiations with other media. WGN-TV currently televises about 70 Cubs games.
A new broadcast deal would definitely help the team in its search for other revenue sources. In January, the Dodgers reached a deal with Time Warner Cable to establish their own cable sports network, which will pay the team a reported $7 billion to broadcast games over 25 years.
Per the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs receive about $20 million in annual broadcast rights fees from WGN-TV. The Cubs games are split between WGN-TV and Comcast SportsNet Chicago. The deal with Comcast SportsNet Chicago runs through 2019 and includes the White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks as partners.
If the Cubs do not establish a new deal with WGN-TV, they could create their own cable sports network.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.