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  #1  
Old 06-01-2014, 12:42 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Default Sox on WGN America Updated Info...

For what it's worth:

Heard from a high ranking member of the Sox front office before today's game. They said the story in Crain's is untrue. I was told the Sox were surprised when this story came out and that the reporter made incorrect assumptions. Specifically that what the Tribune CEO said "was truth and that it was happening soon..."

My source told me that something could happen "at some point" regarding Sox national TV coverage, that they couldn't promise it would stay this way forever, but it definitely is not changing "anytime soon."

The question is (and I've asked my source) what do they mean by "anytime soon..." One year? Three years?? Five years??? It might depend on how the contract between the Sox and WGN / Tribune Company is written.

If I can get a response I'll add it to this thread.

Lip

Last edited by Lip Man 1; 06-01-2014 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 06-01-2014, 01:24 PM
kba kba is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
For what it's worth:

Heard from a high ranking member of the Sox front office before today's game. They said the story in Crain's is untrue. I was told the Sox were surprised when this story came out and that the reporter made incorrect assumptions. Specifically that what the Tribune CEO said "was truth and that it was happening soon..."

My source told me that something could happen "at some point" regarding Sox national TV coverage, that they couldn't promise it would stay this way forever, but it definitely is not changing "anytime soon."

The question is (and I've asked my source) what do they mean by "anytime soon..." One year? Three years?? Five years??? It might depend on how the contract between the Sox and WGN / Tribune Company is written.

If I can get a response I'll add it to this thread.

Lip
For those interested, here's the audio of the Tribune CEO's remarks at the conference. (Free registration required to listen.) His brief comments about sports telecasts are at 29:20. He says WGN's sports contracts net only about $250,000 profit, which he calls "irrelevant" compared to what he thinks he can earn on scripted shows.

He doesn't specifically address the timing of any programming change, but says it would be tied to Tribune's ongoing conversion of WGN America from a "superstation" to a basic cable channel. (He says the sports contracts will not be a part of the new basic cable WGNA.)

This part is over my head, but the conversion apparently involves renegotiating WGN's agreement with Time Warner, Direct TV, and every other cable and satellite provider. At 10:33, he says that will be a two to three year process, and he expects to have converted 40 - 50 percent of providers by the end 2014. I'm not clear if he's saying the sports telecasts will disappear gradually over the next several years on a provider-by-provider basis, or if he plans to pull the plug on sports all at once after every provider has converted WGNA to basic cable.
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Old 06-01-2014, 02:04 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Of course the other variable is if this tool is still in charge two or three years from now.

Lip
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Old 06-01-2014, 02:50 PM
anewman35 anewman35 is offline
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No matter who is in charge, I doubt it ever goes back more in the direction of Chicago-centric stuff. The status quo seems to basically mean they're not on as many systems as they want to be and get pretty low ratings, I can't imagine anybody who's in charge of them will ever be happy with that.
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Old 06-01-2014, 03:23 PM
soxfanreggie soxfanreggie is offline
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Who knows what will happen with baseball media though in 3-5 years. Things always seem to be changing with what gets offered to fans.
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Old 06-01-2014, 03:44 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Just a few thoughts:

Regarding KBA's question about what the CEO means in certain aspects. My sense is the guy is saying that every single agreement with every single cable and satellite provider has to be renegotiated if WGN / WGN America / Tribune Company makes severe changes to their programming. That could impact where they are placed on systems and what can be charged...therefore every deal has to be redone from the ground up.

I'm not saying this is the case for the majority of operations but just as an example. Cable company in Iowa says, "if you aren't going to carry Chicago sports anymore, we aren't paying X per subscriber to you, if you want us to carry you in the future we'll pay only X..." So Tribune has to work out a new agreement with that company.

One other thought, I won't get into it in detail because I don't want to get into trouble. I found it interesting that the Tribune CEO says, Chicago sports only makes a "250,000" profit per year.

Oh...

So screw sports fans (not just Chicago sports fans) around the country because a "250,000 profit" a year isn't enough.

We'll see what happens in the future.

Lip

Last edited by Lip Man 1; 06-01-2014 at 03:57 PM.
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