As if the week wasn’t busy enough for the Chicago Cubs with the franchise-changing free agent signings of starting pitchers Jon Lester and Jason Hammel and the equally important trade for Catcher Miguel Montero. On Friday, the Chicago Cubs announced a new partial TV deal with ABC7/WLS-TV in Chicago. ABC7 will broadcast 25 games each season for the next 5 years through the 2019 MLB season. ABC7 will pay the Cubs $750,000 per game. There is no online component to the deal, so anyone who doesn’t have Channel 7 won’t be able to see the games that air solely on ABC7 TV. Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney raved about the new relationship with ABC7-TV — “We are excited to have WLS-TV as our new television broadcast partner. WLS-TV has established itself as a trusted voice in Chicago, and we look forward to a new chapter of Cubs baseball airing on the flagship station of the ABC television network.”
Comcast Sportsnet Chicago will broadcast roughly half of all Cubs games this season. A select number of games will be televised on national telecasts like ESPN or FOX. So after the ABC7-TV deal, that still leaves approximately 45 games for which the Cubs do not have a television partner to broadcast the games. Kenney has indicated that the Cubs are in discussions will other potential television partners and that news of another deal could be announced soon.
Things are definitely coming together on the north side. Construction around the ballpark continues to steamroll forward and with the “warmish” weather we’ve been having, hopefully that means the Cubs can get back on target for having the Bleachers open in time for the ESPN Sunday Night Game against the St. Louis Cardinals on April 6th. With Jon Lester taking the ball for the 1st time in a Cubs uniform, we need all the fans there ready to go. Go Cubs Go!!!