Chicago Cubs Decline Option on TV Contract

Chicago_Cubs_Logo_2013The Chicago Cubs have exercised an option to get out of their broadcast contract with WGN-TV after the 2014 season, sources said Wednesday.

The team notified the Tribune Co.-owned station on Tuesday it had 30 days to agree to substantially higher fees for the 2015 season and beyond, or the broadcast rights would be opened up for negotiation with other media, according to a source close to the situation.

The move not only sets a higher price for the broadcast rights, but shortens the duration of the agreement to 2019, lopping three years off the existing agreement. If Tribune Co. doesn’t step up to the plate within 30 days, the team is free to explore other broadcast options for about 70 games televised each season by WGN, opening the door to a potentially more lucrative contract, or perhaps its own cable sports network.

A Tribune Co. spokesman and a Cubs spokesman declined to comment.

Source: Robert Channick,