Radio, TV Rights Still An Issue In Cubs Sale
May 20, 2009 at 5:15 AM (PT)
One of the remaining details that's delaying the sale by TRIBUNE CO. of the CHICAGO CUBS to TOM RICKETTS is the value of the team's radio and TV contracts, reports the CHICAGO TRIBUNE, noting that questions have arisen as to whether the CUBS have received market value for those contracts since TRIBUNE owns the stations and the team.
The CUBS have aired on TRIBUNE's own Talk WGN-A and CW affiliate WGN-TV/CHICAGO for generations, and the paper reports that the RICKETTS family has been looking to negotiate concessions on how ad revenue is shared between the CUBS and the stations, with the buyer asking for a reduction in the $900 million purchase price if no adjustments are made.
RICKETTS has reportedly offered to sell pieces of the team to celebrity CUBS fans, including BILL MURRAY, JIM BELUSHI, and JOHN CUSACK, to raise money to complete the sale, which includes the team, WRIGLEY FIELD, and 25% of COMCAST SPORTSNET CHICAGO.