It's 3am and You're Dying For a Hit of Milo Hamilton; What Do You Do?
A new channel devoted to the Cubs is one of the enticing potential revenue-generating items that Tribune Co. is floating as part of its planned sale of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field and its 25 percent stake in Comcast SportsNet.
The story mentions some of the roadblocks that might prevent a New York Yankees/YES Network sort of channel from becoming a reality in Chicago, including the possibility that Tribune Company could box the team's new owner into continuing to air many games on Tribune-owned WGN. Still, one can certainly see why the concept might be attractive...
[YES Network's] revenues, which include other sports programming
besides the Yankees, exceed $300 million, and its cash flow, a critical
measure of the network's health, was about $186 million in 2006,
according to The New York Times.
YES' value has been estimated at $3 billion, more than two times the
$1.3 billion valuation that Forbes magazine placed on the Yankees.
One other item of interest in the piece—so far this season, the Cubs are averaging a 4.9 rating on Comcast; the White Sox, whose ratings are up 27% over 2007, come in at 1.9. That's less than 40% of the Cubs' viewership.
Point that out the next time one of your Sox-loving friends whines about how the Cubs get more attention from the Chicago media.