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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Cubs likely to start own media network after 2019 season

So, WGN as it was in the 1990s, only with no Bozo?

Move over, YES Network?

“It’s a great time to be us,” Crane Kenney said Saturday regarding the possibility the Cubs could start their own media network after their contracts with NBC Sports Chicago, ABC-7 and WGN-9 expire after the 2019 season.

“We have a big passion for controlling our own destiny,” added Kenney, the Cubs president of business operations. “It’s sort of like conversations in the real estate market. We like controlling our own destiny. You start adding partners and it becomes a lot more complicated.”

QLE Posted: August 28, 2018 at 07:27 AM | 43 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, television, television contracts, television rights

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   1. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: August 28, 2018 at 08:38 AM (#5734652)
So, WGN as it was in the 1990s, only with no Bozo?

Maybe they could bring this guy back as a coach?
   2. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:40 AM (#5734683)
There's no reason they shouldn't bring back Bozo to host a call-in show with Maddon.
   3. Brian C Posted: August 28, 2018 at 11:20 AM (#5734762)
We'll see how this goes, but I sure would miss checking like 5 different channels to figure out which one has the game.
   4. Brian C Posted: August 28, 2018 at 11:25 AM (#5734765)
On a slightly different subject, seeing Crane Kenney's name again reminds me of days gone by, when he was Media Enemy #1 and supposedly was single-handedly keeping the Cubs from ever being competitive ever.
   5. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: August 28, 2018 at 11:28 AM (#5734768)
We'll see how this goes, but I sure would miss checking like 5 different channels to figure out which one has the game.


This.

The one decent thing Comcast has ever done is create a voice remote that allows me to say "Find the Cubs game" - and have it work like 80% of the time.
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 28, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5734770)
“We have a big passion for controlling our own destiny,” added Kenney, the Cubs president of business operations. “It’s sort of like conversations in the real estate market. We like controlling our own destiny.
So that's the new euphemism for "hoarding every last possible cent for ourselves," eh?
   7. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: August 28, 2018 at 11:36 AM (#5734776)
What this won't fix is the fact that the Cubs games are blacked out here in Des Moines even though Wrigley is a 6 hour drive from my house. MLB is a joke with this stuff, especially considering only like 40% of the Cubs games are televised on cable here.
   8. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: August 28, 2018 at 11:46 AM (#5734779)
Actually, if you got this channel, they wouldn't be blacked out. Which is also part of the incentive, I reckon.

---

Dish is the worst for the Cubs games on CSN+. It is a different channel almost every time (so that's in addition to ABC, WGN, and CSN proper), and the guide never updates before the game starts so it's always a guessing game.
   9. Batman Posted: August 28, 2018 at 01:14 PM (#5734895)
This means the Cubs will win the World Series this year and next and then the media network will be blamed for the curse that stops them from winning again until 2127.
   10. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: August 28, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5734900)
I guess that is a good thing. It will be interesting to see how much it costs.
   11. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 28, 2018 at 01:21 PM (#5734904)
I guess that is a good thing. It will be interesting to see how much it costs.
Hey, if it's too much, you can always either (a) move to somewhere with better options, or (b) start your own network and compete! (These solutions brought to you by the Republican National Committee.)
   12. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 28, 2018 at 01:34 PM (#5734913)
What this won't fix is the fact that the Cubs games are blacked out here in Des Moines even though Wrigley is a 6 hour drive from my house. MLB is a joke with this stuff, especially considering only like 40% of the Cubs games are televised on cable here.
Pirates games are blacked out in Columbus, despite 0% of them being televised on cable here. MLB's blackout system is utterly insane.
   13. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: August 28, 2018 at 01:48 PM (#5734922)
Cubs (and White Sox) blacked out in Indy. Huge dose of Brennemann and Reds though. I think I've seen 5 Cubs v Brewers games out of the last 170 played and 3 were in person. Once in a blue moon the Cubs show up on some Independent channel (UHF type) in Indy, but it's always, WTF, 7th inning, by the time I notice it.
   14. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: August 28, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5734925)
Hey, if it's too much, you can always either (a) move to somewhere with better options, or (b) start your own network and compete! (These solutions brought to you by the Republican National Committee.)


not too far from the truth tbh.
   15. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 28, 2018 at 01:58 PM (#5734928)
I guess I better be careful with those kind of jokes, though, or JE's spidey sense will go off and he'll swoop in with a whatabout.
   16. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 28, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5734942)
The 5 channels and bizarre blackout rules drive me to illegal streams. At least illegal streams are happy to have me as a customer.
   17. Buck Coats Posted: August 28, 2018 at 02:57 PM (#5734955)
Actually, if you got this channel, they wouldn't be blacked out. Which is also part of the incentive, I reckon.


I'm not sure this is true? The new cable networks don't change where the teams are allowed to broadcast games. Sure you can get the YES network out of the NYC Media Market, but the Yankees games are all blacked out on it.
   18. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: August 28, 2018 at 05:33 PM (#5735076)
yeah, I don't think this would fix the blackouts for those of us in Fake-Chicago markets. I get FS-Wisconsin and any number of FSN regional networks including YES in Indy in my cable package, the only MLB games I can watch (excluding national telecasts on ESPN, MLB Net, TBS or Fox/FS1) are the local Reds telecast on FS-Ohio. All other regionals are blocked out during a live MLB game. Then on MLB EI or MLBTV I can watch what I want, except Reds, Cubs and White Sox because I'm in a pretend-Chicago market. This will be like the Longhorn Network. Makes sense for the owner, the people within the market will have no choice but to like it, doesn't do anything outside the actual market.
   19. Howie Menckel Posted: August 28, 2018 at 05:39 PM (#5735079)
wow, having the YES Network except for the Yankees games is like getting served an ice cream cone without the ice cream.
   20. Khrushin it bro Posted: August 28, 2018 at 06:19 PM (#5735098)
Is the ice cream the stupid noise in Yankee stadium every time they strike somebody out? Drives me crazy.
   21. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: August 28, 2018 at 06:48 PM (#5735106)
I pay for MLB.TV and I can't watch 19-23 Phillies games every year because they're against the Nats or Orioles. And neither of those teams has ANY games on local network affiliates anymore, it's all MASN and MASN2. At least I could theoretically pay for those channels, unlike Pirates fans blacked out in Columbus or a million other examples.

Especially aggravating this year when 9 of their last 40 games are against the Nats.
   22. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: August 28, 2018 at 07:50 PM (#5735128)
WGN 2: The Search for More Money
   23. Howie Menckel Posted: August 28, 2018 at 08:21 PM (#5735140)
Is the ice cream the stupid noise in Yankee stadium every time they strike somebody out? Drives me crazy.

in my living room, I whistle that tune every time a YANKEE strikes out. works for me.

   24. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 28, 2018 at 08:57 PM (#5735155)
I understand the aggravation of those blacked out on Extra Innings and MLB.TV for games that they can't actually get on local cable or broadcast channels, but other than that, baseball on TV has never been better, although it does cost a bit of money. Not to go all Andy-Old-Guy, but when I was a kid, the Saturday Game of the Week was all that much of the country got, and if you lived in a MLB city you'd get what the team chose to televise, which wasn't all the games. Fans living outside their team's broadcast area got nothing. Much better now.

If the Cubs follow the pattern, they'll launch their own channel, make more money for a few years, and then sell ~ 49% of it, pocketing about $1B, or more.
   25. Bote Man the walk-off king Posted: August 29, 2018 at 02:06 AM (#5735310)
MLB's blackout system is utterly insane.

Their #content is far too valuable to let you see it.
   26. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 08:18 AM (#5735331)
I don't know what it was for your local teams, but growing up (mostly 80s), an Independent UHF station in Milwaukee carried about 40 games or so, and they were almost exclusively road games. On a rare occasion there might be a home game. Then we had something some of us may remember 'SelecTV', which was mostly movies fed through a scramble UHF channel, you needed a decoder box. That was a pay TV service that included a handful of games at County Stadium. I think another company like this operating in other cities was ONTV or Prism.

Yeah, like college football, everything is on TV pretty much, still doesn't make it obnoxious how they impose draconian blackout rules.
   27. Perry Posted: August 29, 2018 at 10:49 AM (#5735412)
when I was a kid, the Saturday Game of the Week was all that much of the country got, and if you lived in a MLB city you'd get what the team chose to televise, which wasn't all the games.


Yup. I grew up near Columbus. In the late 60s/early 70s the Reds televised 35 games a year, 34 road games plus opening day. Of those, the Columbus outlet carried maybe half. For the other half, you had to try to pull in Dayton or Cincinnati stations 100 miles away. My dad actually had a big antenna installed with a motor so he could rotate it to pick them up. If the atmospheric conditions were right, we could just about see them through the static.
   28. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 29, 2018 at 10:59 AM (#5735421)
in my living room, I whistle that tune every time a YANKEE strikes out. works for me.
Do you yell at yourself to clap your hands every 30 seconds too?
   29. Spahn Insane Posted: August 29, 2018 at 11:02 AM (#5735426)
Then on MLB EI or MLBTV I can watch what I want, except Reds, Cubs and White Sox because I'm in a pretend-Chicago market.

Those three teams seem like a bizarre trio of blackouts--where (generally) do you live?

In Louisville, I'm blacked out of any Reds games (which, fair enough--it's only 100 miles away, plus it's home to their AAA team though I doubt that has anything to do with the blackout restrictions). I suppose being able to see all the non-Reds Cub/Brewer/Cardinal games I want, which is the bulk of what I watch, isn't a bad tradeoff. (This is strictly through MLB.tv; I haven't had cable in 15 years.)
   30. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 11:16 AM (#5735440)
For the other half, you had to try to pull in Dayton or Cincinnati stations 100 miles away. My dad actually had a big antenna installed with a motor so he could rotate it to pick them up. If the atmospheric conditions were right, we could just about see them through the static.
I grew up in a Cleveland Browns-fan household, about 50 miles south of Cleveland. Back when games were semi-regularly blacked out in the Cleveland market, we had to do the same thing to pull in stations from Wheeling, West Virginia. If you stood on one foot with a roll of aluminum foil in one hand, a coat hanger in the other hand, and didn't move a muscle, you could maybe see a play or two.
   31. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5735443)
I live in a Indy suburb. Local cable carries FS-Ohio, thus all the Reds games (also about 100 miles away) are available on the cable package, so that's obvious why Reds are blacked out on EI. The Cubs/Sox black out though is the dumb ass part. Yes, we get WGN on cable, but not Comcast, or any other Chicago based sports network.

I know we've hammered this topic in the past. Des Moines/Iowa, Vegas, El Paso, and other assorted pockets sure have some strange blackout maps. I've noticeably have increased by radio consumption of baseball over TV in the past few years. This is one factor.
   32. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: August 29, 2018 at 03:33 PM (#5735703)
but when I was a kid, the Saturday Game of the Week was all that much of the country got

Hmph! Back in my day, the only baseball on TV was the Game of the Year, telecast at 3am on June 31st! The camera was buried under the turf, and the microphones were turned off and the wires cut with pruning shears! Plus, the TV station was 32,116 miles away, which meant I had to hang from the aerial in the middle of a thunderstorm just so Grandpaw could see a play or two through the static! And then after the game was over, Grandpaw would whip the skin off my back if the Senators lost! I tells ya, you kids have it so easy now...!
   33. Perry Posted: August 29, 2018 at 04:33 PM (#5735761)
Hmph! Back in my day, the only baseball on TV was the Game of the Year, telecast at 3am on June 31st! The camera was buried under the turf, and the microphones were turned off and the wires cut with pruning shears! Plus, the TV station was 32,116 miles away, which meant I had to hang from the aerial in the middle of a thunderstorm just so Grandpaw could see a play or two through the static! And then after the game was over, Grandpaw would whip the skin off my back if the Senators lost! I tells ya, you kids have it so easy now...!


Hmph, hanging from the aerial in a thunderstorm during the Game of the Year telecast would have counted as pure luxury where I come from, sonny.
   34. Brian C Posted: August 29, 2018 at 04:49 PM (#5735774)
Hmph, back in my day, 150-something Cubs games per year were on WGN all over the country, so even though I lived in Jacksonville, Florida, I could watch the Cubs all summer long and it was awesome.

So there.
   35. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: August 30, 2018 at 12:43 AM (#5736093)
If YES was the great revenue-sharing dodge that people thought it was, why did the Yankees sell it to FOX a few years ago?
   36. Howie Menckel Posted: August 30, 2018 at 01:11 AM (#5736097)
I believe the Yankees just bought back a minority percentage of the network back from Fox.

at that level, it's all Trading Places.
   37. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2018 at 06:54 AM (#5736105)
Well, they "intend" to buy back a controlling interest of the network sometime before the close of the Fox deal next year. So 31%.
   38. jmurph Posted: August 30, 2018 at 12:26 PM (#5736310)
What this won't fix is the fact that the Cubs games are blacked out here in Des Moines even though Wrigley is a 6 hour drive from my house. MLB is a joke with this stuff, especially considering only like 40% of the Cubs games are televised on cable here.

1. I use Playstation Vue (streaming service) for TV watching purposes.
2. Playstation Vue has something called NESN National in a special sports package that costs extra (I don't have it).
3. NESN National, as far as I can tell, does not carry actual Red Sox games to a national audience.
4. A Red Sox game airing on the MLB Network (and, presumably, also on NESN for viewers in New England) was recently blacked out for me (a person that does not live in New England). Because it was also on NESN. A network not available to me.

   39. Karl from NY Posted: August 30, 2018 at 03:07 PM (#5736475)
Does everyone here know the purpose of the blackout rules? It is to apply pressure to expand coverage of the regional networks. If you want to see the Pirates in Columbus or the Cubs in Des Moines, MLB wants you to call up your cable provider and demand they add the teams' channels. They don't care about a few individual customers, they want to get each whole city's worth of subscriber fees.
   40. jmurph Posted: August 30, 2018 at 03:09 PM (#5736477)
I'm reasonably sure Minneapolis cable providers are not going to add NESN to their channel lineups.
   41. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: August 30, 2018 at 03:47 PM (#5736503)
Does everyone here know the purpose of the blackout rules? It is to apply pressure to expand coverage of the regional networks. If you want to see the Pirates in Columbus or the Cubs in Des Moines, MLB wants you to call up your cable provider and demand they add the teams' channels. They don't care about a few individual customers, they want to get each whole city's worth of subscriber fees.


Interestingly enough - wikipedia has a whole page on MLB's blackout policy....

Near as I can tell - it's a messy, stupid amalgam of longdead deals, practices, and special carveouts that they've done for national TV deals.

So the general why seems to be less about expanding coverage than it is increasing the value of national broadcast deals. The why for a specific game and location reads like it involves some kind of 50 page decision tree/flow chart.
   42. spycake Posted: August 30, 2018 at 06:39 PM (#5736599)
1. I use Playstation Vue (streaming service) for TV watching purposes.
2. Playstation Vue has something called NESN National in a special sports package that costs extra (I don't have it).
3. NESN National, as far as I can tell, does not carry actual Red Sox games to a national audience.
4. A Red Sox game airing on the MLB Network (and, presumably, also on NESN for viewers in New England) was recently blacked out for me (a person that does not live in New England). Because it was also on NESN. A network not available to me.


Who told you it was blacked out for that reason? Blackouts don't really have anything to do with what channels are available. It is just about who owns broadcast rights where you are. The Red Sox do not own rights in Minneapolis or nationally. I suspect it was blacked out in error (maybe Vue was getting the MLB Network feed from New England, or that is what MLB was providing to them? Or somehow your location was reported/interpreted incorrectly, or the location specified for the blackout was wrong).

Unfortunately it is probably a mistake that neither MLB or Vue will bother to admit or correct.
   43. jmurph Posted: August 31, 2018 at 09:30 AM (#5736853)
Who told you it was blacked out for that reason? Blackouts don't really have anything to do with what channels are available. It is just about who owns broadcast rights where you are. The Red Sox do not own rights in Minneapolis or nationally. I suspect it was blacked out in error (maybe Vue was getting the MLB Network feed from New England, or that is what MLB was providing to them? Or somehow your location was reported/interpreted incorrectly, or the location specified for the blackout was wrong).

Unfortunately it is probably a mistake that neither MLB or Vue will bother to admit or correct.

I also was pretty sure this was a mistake. The customer service guy at Vue told me. Which prompted me to type, maybe even in all caps, THAT'S NOT HOW BLACKOUTS WORK. Because I am a crazy person, apparently. But it's happened before on Vue, on the MLB Network, for other games that I also didn't have any local access to. Leading me to believe either the fine folks at Sony are especially dumb or MLB is giving everyone terrible instructions.

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