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24994J

WGN Sports Loses White Sox, Bulls, Blackhawks

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Barring some sort of odd arrangement with the Cubs' new network, WGN Sports is dead. Starting next fall, NBC Sports Chicago will be the exclusive home to White Sox, Bulls, and Blackhawks games.

 

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/sports/nbc-sports-chicago-announces-new-deal-with-white-sox-bulls-and-blackhawks-503802931.html

Edited by 24994J

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Great news for cord-cutters!

 

I am guessing that the drama at Tribune corporate means they didn't do anything to try to get in on Marquee or the rights to the other teams? Forming some sort of big sports network or two that also ensured WGN would keep their rights?

 

Where does WGN go from here? I take it them getting any of these rights back - ever - is out of the question?

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That’s a gut-punch and a half right there. Another Chicago tradition dead thanks to the almighty dollar. I bet they’ll fill those spring, summer and early-fall afternoons with more OBP programming and movies.

Edited by Georgie56
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I'm not surprised this happened. WGN was one of the only broadcast stations in the country still airing local sports. Basically, in every other market, with few exceptions, teams went to RSN-exclusive formats a decade or more ago, because those contacts pay the teams so much more than broadcast TV contracts.

 

Either way, it's still sad. WGN doesn't have much to hang their hat on anymore, aside from their news.

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Do you think they want The CW back?

 

I am kinda baffled at the ease with which Tribune appears to have let these rights go. But I know they've been trying to sell themselves for almost two years and aren't too interested in adding big expenses to their balance sheet.

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28 minutes ago, channel2 said:

Do you think they want The CW back?

 

I am kinda baffled at the ease with which Tribune appears to have let these rights go. But I know they've been trying to sell themselves for almost two years and aren't too interested in adding big expenses to their balance sheet.

 

One of the main reasons WGN got rid of The CW was primetime or late-night sports telecasts delaying the network’s primetime lineup and the 9pm news to after 10pm or midnight, respectively, and having to farm out some games to WCIU and WPWR. 

 

Now that live sports on WGN won’t be a thing after the 2019 baseball season, them taking back The CW from WPWR is a possibility.

 

I don’t think Nexstar would want to be saddled with live sports contracts anyway.

Edited by Georgie56

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14 minutes ago, Georgie56 said:

Now that live sports on WGN won’t be a thing after the 2019 baseball season, them taking back The CW from WPWR is a possibility.

 

I don’t think Nexstar would want to be saddled with live sports contracts anyway.

 

You think Fox is going to easly give up The CW to them after they lost the Sports rights. That's going to be a hard sell.

 

When does the CW contract run out for WPWR?

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7 minutes ago, CircleSeven said:

 

You think Fox is going to easly give up The CW to them after they lost the Sports rights. That's going to be a hard sell.

 

When does the CW contract run out for WPWR?

 

I phrased that poorly. I meant a slight chance.

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4 hours ago, 24994J said:

Barring some sort of odd arrangement with the Cubs' new network, WGN Sports is dead. Starting next fall, NBC Sports Chicago will be the exclusive home to White Sox, Bulls, and Blackhawks games.

 

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/sports/nbc-sports-chicago-announces-new-deal-with-white-sox-bulls-and-blackhawks-503802931.html

It's a shame and qute frankly, a sad day to see a WGN with no sports but in this day in age where teams are making TV rights cable-exclusive, it doesn't surprise me one bit to see WGN Sports be reduced to perhaps only Cubs games (unless the Cubs wants to go Cable-exclusive too)

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1 hour ago, Georgie56 said:

 

One of the main reasons WGN got rid of The CW was primetime or late-night sports telecasts delaying the network’s primetime lineup and the 9pm news to after 10pm or midnight, respectively, and having to farm out some games to WCIU and WPWR. 

 

Now that live sports on WGN won’t be a thing after the 2019 baseball season, them taking back The CW from WPWR is a possibility.

 

I don’t think Nexstar would want to be saddled with live sports contracts anyway.

 

If push comes to shove, Nexstar may have to start running WGN like they currently do WISH-TV and KRON 4.

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I mean, from the sound of it, those two would really benefit from their incoming Tribune associations.

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1 hour ago, CircleSeven said:

When does the CW contract run out for WPWR?

 

 

It's a long-term deal, so my guess would be 2026. The bigger question is whether or not the CW will still be around.

Edited by jase

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8 hours ago, oknewsguy said:

It's a shame and qute frankly, a sad day to see a WGN with no sports but in this day in age where teams are making TV rights cable-exclusive, it doesn't surprise me one bit to see WGN Sports be reduced to perhaps only Cubs games (unless the Cubs wants to go Cable-exclusive too)

I would be surprised if the Cubs aired any games on WGN. They're launching their own cable network next year, and the vibe has always been that they want all of their games to be on their new network.

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What a blow to WGN. I wonder how much revenue was from their sports broadcasts, and if the loss of that will affect the rest of the station overall (ie. layoffs in news and other departments).

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6 hours ago, Spring Rubber said:

I would be surprised if the Cubs aired any games on WGN. They're launching their own cable network next year, and the vibe has always been that they want all of their games to be on their new network.

I hope that they can still use WGN (or another Chicago TV station) for Cubs coverage in the event the Cubs can't get deals don't get done in time for Opening Day 2020. Because there will be a lot of Cubs fans pissed if they can't watch the games because of all of the same nonsense that's happening in LA with the Dodgers

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39 minutes ago, oknewsguy said:

I hope that they can still use WGN (or another Chicago TV station) for Cubs coverage in the event the Cubs can't get deals don't get done in time for Opening Day 2020. Because there will be a lot of Cubs fans pissed if they can't watch the games because of all of the same nonsense that's happening in LA with the Dodgers

More than likely Ricketts and Sinclair will work something out that'll get Marquee into as many homes with cable, satellite, and U-Verse as possible. AFAIK, the Dodgers fiasco is due to Spectrum wanting a reason for customers to get their TV service.

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2 minutes ago, NEOMatrix said:

More than likely Ricketts and Sinclair will work something out that'll get Marquee into as many homes with cable, satellite, and U-Verse as possible. AFAIK, the Dodgers fiasco is due to Spectrum wanting a reason for customers to get their TV service.

I hope they can pull that one as for that Dodgers situation now that I'm thinking about it, I could understand why they haven't gotten much traction, why would a cable company ask customers why they wanted SportsNet LA? I don't think Spectrum has any clue on how to run 2 separate RSNs and I think at some point, Spectrum is going have to merge the Dodgers and Lakers RSNs into one RSN channel

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14 hours ago, ED2 said:

What a blow to WGN. I wonder how much revenue was from their sports broadcasts, and if the loss of that will affect the rest of the station overall (ie. layoffs in news and other departments).

 

It's unclear how much money is being 'saved' by not having to pay for the media/sports rights when compared to the ad revenue generated by carrying said rights. I believe the current annual rate WGN pays the Cubs is below the $20 mil. mark they paid in 2014, so my guess would be around $10-12 mil. annually.

 

Nevertheless, I would agree this is a big blow both programming-wise and financially. We don't know how far along the Cubs are to starting their own network, so some type of short-term arrangement with WGN is possible (along with WLS too). I'm sure WGN management would be willing to work something out in a heartbeat, it seems their owner, Tribune Media, doesn't care about the impending demise of WGN Sports. A 70 year history/relationship with the Cubs doesn't mean much these days.

Edited by jase

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I mean, Tribune has been working on its own impending demise for the better part of two years now.

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