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State of the Screens

Cubs partnership could mark the start of Sinclair’s push into sports programming

By February 20, 2019No Comments
Big news: The Chicago Cubs and Sinclair Broadcast Group are partnering to launch a new network that will exclusively broadcast the team’s games.

The new network is launching in 2020 and will mark the first time in 70+ years (1948) that at least a portion of the Cubs games will not air on local broadcast TV.

Current deal: NBC Sports Chicago gets $4.20/subscriber/month which is split between the Bulls, Cubs, White Sox, and Blackhawks.

New deal: The new network plans to charge ≈ $5.00/subscriber/month.

Flashback #1: Sources: Cubs To Go Own Way In TV Venture

The Cubs will get paid $750K per game next year for TV rights.

How much more could they make? How about 3X more! The Dodgers make ≈$2M per game in local broadcast rights through SportsNet LA.

Flashback #2: The bids are in for RSN sale

Monthly subscriber fees for Fox’s priciest RSNs:
YES Network — $6.37
Fox Sports Detroit — $5.84
Fox Sports Arizona — $4.84
Fox Sports Ohio — $4.07
Fox Sports Wisconsin — $3.22

Flashback #3: The Dodgers Are on a Roll but Fans Remain in the Dark Amid Cable-TV Dispute

The Dodgers are guaranteed $8.35B over 25 years from Charter Communications.

That breaks down to an average of $334M/year!

In order to break even, the Network needs to make $1,988 from every pay-TV subscriber in the region or an average of $80/subscriber/year.

More deals: Sinclair Broadcast Group is also in the running for the 22 RSNs that Major League Baseball is selling.

Video: MLB bides for Fox’s Regional Sports Networks

More: Fox RSN sale grows more confusing as Angels owner eyes several networks

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.