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  #16  
Old 01-23-2019, 02:59 PM
blandman blandman is offline
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Originally Posted by Grzegorz View Post
As with all things it will be interesting to see the price point. I am wondering if transplants exceed locals in subscriptions.
That's a good call. And getting this station in another city would probably come at a premium price point.
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  #17  
Old 01-23-2019, 04:09 PM
Hitmen77 Hitmen77 is offline
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Originally Posted by Grzegorz View Post
As with all things it will be interesting to see the price point. I am wondering if transplants exceed locals in subscriptions.
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Originally Posted by blandman View Post
That's a good call. And getting this station in another city would probably come at a premium price point.
The new Cubs network won't be able televise Cubs games outside of the Cubs local broadcast rights area due to league blackout rules. Anyone who wants to watch the Cubs local broadcasts in, for example, Arizona would have to subscribe to MLB.TV or MLB Extra Innings.
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  #18  
Old 01-26-2019, 01:54 PM
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Maybe related, maybe not: the Ricketts family has bought the remaining balance of the Cubs from the Tribune.

The Tribune company has been a co-owner of the Cubs since the sale agreement with the Ricketts group ten years ago. There were big tax savings for both groups if it was staged that way. The Tribune company was been busted into pieces, but it still had a stake in the Cubs.

The linked article suggests there might be a link between the settling of this with the Tribune ($125 million?) and the announcement of the Cubs' new TV arrangement. Interesting, however you slice it.
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  #19  
Old 02-06-2019, 01:45 PM
roylestillman roylestillman is offline
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I think it’s notable that the Cubs acquired the remaining 5% of the Trib’s remaining share so they can cut the ties with Channel 9. I read somewhere that all four teams are getting out of broadcast (“free”) TV. More revenue to keep in house I guess, but surprising given the Sox previous attempt at this which turned into an out of sight out of mind thing. And the Blackhawks recent success in getting their product on WGN and increasing awareness.

What is going to be interesting is negotiations with the cable carriers. NBCSN Chicago and it’s predecessors were successful in getting Comcast to attach them to their various bundled plans. In recent years Comcast has broken out a charge for “regional sports network” on their bill, but not making it optional. In January that charge rose from $6.75 to $8.25. Cubs will want at least that much. Comcast and other carriers may balk at this (as those in other cities have) or make it a premium channel like HBO. That options would cause a major reduction in revenue. Any further cord cutting would also cut into revenue as non fans opt out of one or both channels.
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  #20  
Old 02-06-2019, 02:24 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Originally Posted by roylestillman View Post
I think it’s notable that the Cubs acquired the remaining 5% of the Trib’s remaining share so they can cut the ties with Channel 9. I read somewhere that all four teams are getting out of broadcast (“free”) TV. More revenue to keep in house I guess, but surprising given the Sox previous attempt at this which turned into an out of sight out of mind thing. And the Blackhawks recent success in getting their product on WGN and increasing awareness.

What is going to be interesting is negotiations with the cable carriers. NBCSN Chicago and it’s predecessors were successful in getting Comcast to attach them to their various bundled plans. In recent years Comcast has broken out a charge for “regional sports network” on their bill, but not making it optional. In January that charge rose from $6.75 to $8.25. Cubs will want at least that much. Comcast and other carriers may balk at this (as those in other cities have) or make it a premium channel like HBO. That options would cause a major reduction in revenue. Any further cord cutting would also cut into revenue as non fans opt out of one or both channels.
Maybe.

I'd counter with the fact that there are more than enough Cub fan (lemmings) who will do anything short of selling their first born to watch their "beloved" team.

I'm guessing the Cubs even with reduced expectations are going to make so much money its going to make your head spin.
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  #21  
Old 02-06-2019, 05:30 PM
doogiec doogiec is offline
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A few random thoughts:
If the Cubs really thought their new network was going to produce Yankee/Dodger type cash flow, I would think they’d be in on Harper. If they truly are out, I think that’s a good indicator that their expectations aren’t as high as we’d been led to believe.

Comcast owns part of NBCSN. They are also a large provider of cable in the Chicago area. So the Cubs are going to expect Comcast to risk losing customers (I realize there are a lot of Cub fans, but many more people are not Cub fans as they don’t really care about baseball or support another team) by increasing their price to everyone in order to provide a channel that competes directly with one they own part of?

Local TV is the weak part of the Cubs revenue machine. Ballpark attendance and national TV ratings are greatly increased by the large number of out of town fans they have, which allows them to do well even when the team doesn’t.. Locally, when the team stinks, their ratings stink also. They have been in the bottom three in MLB ratings during rebuild seasons.
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  #22  
Old 02-07-2019, 05:20 AM
Grzegorz Grzegorz is offline
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Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
I'm guessing the Cubs even with reduced expectations are going to make so much money its going to make your head spin.
Their revenue stream being? Who is the audience? Taxes and fees are going up in this state. These taxes and fees will hit businesses. Those businesses will rate prices. As prices rise that will likely cause some to question their choice regarding disposable income.

So the revenue stream is through streaming? What does that cost? Is there competition regarding streaming or does a whale control it all?
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  #23  
Old 02-07-2019, 12:35 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Originally Posted by Grzegorz View Post
Their revenue stream being? Who is the audience? Taxes and fees are going up in this state. These taxes and fees will hit businesses. Those businesses will rate prices. As prices rise that will likely cause some to question their choice regarding disposable income.

So the revenue stream is through streaming? What does that cost? Is there competition regarding streaming or does a whale control it all?
All I'm saying is that there are millions and millions of Cub fans that will do just about anything to watch their team and will pay just about any price to do so regardless of the medium. And even if they don't get as many as expected because of circumstances they'll still be an absolute ton of them.

We're not talking 20,000 subscribers aka SportsVision.

Last edited by Lip Man 1; 02-07-2019 at 01:47 PM.
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  #24  
Old 02-07-2019, 01:11 PM
Hitmen77 Hitmen77 is offline
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Originally Posted by roylestillman View Post
I think it’s notable that the Cubs acquired the remaining 5% of the Trib’s remaining share so they can cut the ties with Channel 9. I read somewhere that all four teams are getting out of broadcast (“free”) TV. More revenue to keep in house I guess, but surprising given the Sox previous attempt at this which turned into an out of sight out of mind thing. And the Blackhawks recent success in getting their product on WGN and increasing awareness.

What is going to be interesting is negotiations with the cable carriers. NBCSN Chicago and it’s predecessors were successful in getting Comcast to attach them to their various bundled plans. In recent years Comcast has broken out a charge for “regional sports network” on their bill, but not making it optional. In January that charge rose from $6.75 to $8.25. Cubs will want at least that much. Comcast and other carriers may balk at this (as those in other cities have) or make it a premium channel like HBO. That options would cause a major reduction in revenue. Any further cord cutting would also cut into revenue as non fans opt out of one or both channels.
Didn't Tribune Publishing and Tribune Media spin off into separate companies a few years ago? If so, which part has/had the 5% share in the Cubs? If it was Trib Publishing, then they're no longer part of the same company as WGN anyway. Plus, Tribune Media is up for sale....famously so since their deal with Sinclair fell through.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doogiec View Post
A few random thoughts:
If the Cubs really thought their new network was going to produce Yankee/Dodger type cash flow, I would think they’d be in on Harper. If they truly are out, I think that’s a good indicator that their expectations aren’t as high as we’d been led to believe.

Comcast owns part of NBCSN. They are also a large provider of cable in the Chicago area. So the Cubs are going to expect Comcast to risk losing customers (I realize there are a lot of Cub fans, but many more people are not Cub fans as they don’t really care about baseball or support another team) by increasing their price to everyone in order to provide a channel that competes directly with one they own part of?
Yep, Comcast will now have a 25% ownership stake in NBC Sports Chicago upon the departure of the Cubs. I can't imagine much in the way of issues regarding negotiated carriage fees between the 2 parties.

As far as a new Cubs channel, it will be interesting to see what Comcast does since they have a lot of leverage being the dominant cable provider in Chicagoland (and yeah, I'm aware of RCN, WOW, and Directv). Like you said, there are a lot of Cubs fans out there, but there are also a lot of Comcast customers who would balk at a new RSN surcharge being slapped on everyone's bill to pay for "Marquee" or whatever the hell the new Cubs Channel is being called.
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  #25  
Old 02-07-2019, 02:16 PM
roylestillman roylestillman is offline
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Originally Posted by Hitmen77 View Post
Didn't Tribune Publishing and Tribune Media spin off into separate companies a few years ago? If so, which part has/had the 5% share in the Cubs? If it was Trib Publishing, then they're no longer part of the same company as WGN anyway. Plus, Tribune Media is up for sale....famously so since their deal with Sinclair fell through.



Yep, Comcast will now have a 25% ownership stake in NBC Sports Chicago upon the departure of the Cubs. I can't imagine much in the way of issues regarding negotiated carriage fees between the 2 parties.

As far as a new Cubs channel, it will be interesting to see what Comcast does since they have a lot of leverage being the dominant cable provider in Chicagoland (and yeah, I'm aware of RCN, WOW, and Directv). Like you said, there are a lot of Cubs fans out there, but there are also a lot of Comcast customers who would balk at a new RSN surcharge being slapped on everyone's bill to pay for "Marquee" or whatever the hell the new Cubs Channel is being called.
The 5% belonged to Tribune Media. Publishing just got the debt.

What’s not clear iswhat happened to the 20% of NBCSN Chicago that the Cubs owned. Are the other entities buying them out? Still unclear whether Comcastor other carriers will tuck the new channel into their “premium” or whatever bundle plan like they do with NBCSN Chicago.
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  #26  
Old 02-07-2019, 02:21 PM
doogiec doogiec is offline
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The Cubs are at their peak popularity and they average 166,000 households for local telecasts. As recently as 2014 the number was less than 1/3 of that. The currrent number is around 5% of households. In order for this to work, they need to convince cable carriers to increase the cost to 100% of their customers to make the 5% happy. Economically it may be better for a Comcast to tell them to stick it and risk losing some of that 5% than to raise costs significantly and risk losing a chunk of the 95% who don't watch a lot of Cubs.

This doesn't compare to Sportsvision. The Sox didn't try to get everyone in Chicago to pay $6 or so per month, regardless if they watch the team or not. They tried to get Sox fans to pay $20 per month, which obviously didn't work.

The Dodgers tried this. You still can't see a Dodgers game in a large portion of LA. Their partner in the deal, Time Warner is losing over $100 million per year on the deal. Nobody is going to screw up like this again.
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  #27  
Old 02-07-2019, 03:20 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Originally Posted by doogiec View Post
The Cubs are at their peak popularity and they average 166,000 households for local telecasts. As recently as 2014 the number was less than 1/3 of that. The currrent number is around 5% of households. In order for this to work, they need to convince cable carriers to increase the cost to 100% of their customers to make the 5% happy. Economically it may be better for a Comcast to tell them to stick it and risk losing some of that 5% than to raise costs significantly and risk losing a chunk of the 95% who don't watch a lot of Cubs.

This doesn't compare to Sportsvision. The Sox didn't try to get everyone in Chicago to pay $6 or so per month, regardless if they watch the team or not. They tried to get Sox fans to pay $20 per month, which obviously didn't work.

The Dodgers tried this. You still can't see a Dodgers game in a large portion of LA. Their partner in the deal, Time Warner is losing over $100 million per year on the deal. Nobody is going to screw up like this again.
Hey as a Sox fan I hope it fails big time. The reality though is I don't think it will. Cub fans will want to watch and will (not literally) storm the gates with pitchforks if they aren't able to. They'll cause a tremendous stink if the Dodgers situation repeats itself.

Me thinks that's what Cub ownership is counting on.
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  #28  
Old 02-07-2019, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by doogiec View Post
This doesn't compare to Sportsvision. The Sox didn't try to get everyone in Chicago to pay $6 or so per month, regardless if they watch the team or not. They tried to get Sox fans to pay $20 per month, which obviously didn't work.
The main flaw in the business plan for Sportsvision is that it was about 20 years ahead of its time. Urban areas were not wired for cable in the 80's, so that meant you had to get the box for your telly. If they waited (and were able to see the future), they could have rolled it out when cable and satellite companies started offering sports bundles.

Sigh.
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  #29  
Old 02-07-2019, 03:43 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Originally Posted by DumpJerry View Post
The main flaw in the business plan for Sportsvision is that it was about 20 years ahead of its time. Urban areas were not wired for cable in the 80's, so that meant you had to get the box for your telly. If they waited (and were able to see the future), they could have rolled it out when cable and satellite companies started offering sports bundles.

Sigh.
Very truw. A brilliant idea that was ahead of its time. I also contend (and wrote about it) that if Chicago was a one team town like St. Louis, Detroit or Philadelphia, it would have worked because fans wouldn't have had a choice. With the Cubs in town and offering most of their games on "free" WGN, that was a deal breaker.
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  #30  
Old 02-08-2019, 09:04 AM
Wsoxmike59 Wsoxmike59 is offline
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Paul Sullivan has a column in today's Tribune about WGN's last season covering the Cubs. It's a good read. I would love it if WGN and MLB got together and released a "Greatest Games" Box Set if they happen to have some of the gems they've covered over the years. Namely the No Hitters, like Sam "Toothpick" Jones, Don Cardwell, Kenny Holtzman's two no hitters, Milt Pappas' near perfecto and a young Burt Hooten no hitting the Phillies. But I digress. Here's the Sullivan article and the upcoming schedule of Cubs games on WGN-TV for 2019.



https://www.chicagotribune.com/sport...206-story.html




http://wgntvsales.com/Sports/Cubs_Schedule.pdf

Last edited by Wsoxmike59; 02-08-2019 at 09:05 AM. Reason: typo
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