The Chicago Cubs are looking to emulate the New York Yankees. The club is thinking about launching their own version of the YES Network once the team’s current media contracts expire following the 2019 season, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Cubs thinking about launching media network
Team president Crane Kenney pretty much confirmed the news, telling the Tribune the team would like to control its own destiny and isn’t looking to add partners. The club currently owns a share of NBC Sports Chicago with the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks.
The team isn’t looking for a similar set up moving forward, Kenney told the Tribune.
“But I’d say at the moment we’re 80 percent inclined to do it on our own.”
Why do the Cubs want their own media network?
The media landscape is changing, and Kenney has seen the success Facebook and Amazon have had by broadcasting NFL and MLB games. He sees an opportunity for the Cubs to take advantage of that trend with their own network.
As the Tribune indicates, a network could give the Cubs as much payroll flexibility as the Yankees.
Such a deal could fund the player payroll on an annual basis and allow Epstein, the president of baseball operations, a more robust budget to compete with the likes of the Yankees and their YES Network.
Should the Cubs launch their own media network?
The Cubs are among the Major League Baseball teams that could make this work. By all accounts, the YES Network has worked out well for the Yankees. The Cubs are one of the most popular teams in baseball, and could draw a similar amount of interest.
How soon are the Cubs looking to launch their own media network?
Kenney said the team doesn’t want to go into 2019 without a partner, so the club could announce something before the end of 2018.
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