View Full Version : Tribune answers how Sox have higher revenue

12-09-2001, 12:04 AM
From the Trib:
Twisted numbers: Eyes rolled at Comiskey Park and elsewhere when Bud Selig's opened books showed the White Sox ($30 million) with more local broadcast revenue than the Cubs ($23.6 million). How could the Sox do better with their variety of deals than the Cubs do with theirs on the nationally seen WGN?

"If every question I got was this easy, I'd be happy," said Major League Baseball Executive Vice President Rob Manfred. "The Cubs, because of their relationship with WGN, a superstation, pay a fee, a tax, to Major League Baseball for WGN to go into outside markets. As a result, those revenues go directly to our central fund."

That wasn't always the case. The Cubs had a sweetheart arrangement with WGN until Peter Ueberroth's stint as commissioner. He fretted about an oversaturation of baseball on television. Teams complained about superstations entering their territories, and a new payment strutcture was drawn up for WGN and WTBS in Atlanta.

According to Manfred, the Cubs have separate deals with WGNone for the Chicago market and another for the national market. While the local deal goes straight to Clark and Addison, national revenues are paid to the central fund, with the Cubs later receiving a portion, believed to be about 30 percent. Manfred termed the size of those national fees "significant" but wouldn't say a total.

He did say that if it was added to the figure in Selig's report, the Cubs would rank ahead of the White Sox. But the majority of those fees go to other franchises.

12-09-2001, 01:52 AM
I guess that's the creative bookkeeping we were referring to ... I'm surprised they were that open about it.

irish rover
12-09-2001, 11:52 AM
that doesn't make sense, the sox also are shown on GN around the country so why hasn't that effected them?

irish rover
12-09-2001, 03:42 PM
this was from another cub board and may explain the diff in revenue

"As far as the Superstation revenue is concerned, about 15 years ago an agreement was
worked out in which WGN, TBS and WOR would put a bortion of their revenue for Cub, Braves and
Mets games respectively into a revenue sharing fund that was then allocated back to the various teams
basec upon an agreed to formula. It was a contractual arrangement, not a baseball rule, and the idiots
did not include in the agreement any charges for White Sox games, since at that time Sox games were
broadcast on channel 44 in Chicago only. Appearently, when WGN started to broadcast Sox games, it
wasn't considered substantial enough to renegotiate the original agreement."