I know. It’s all about the money. The relatively new owners of the Cubs have fired a shot across the bow of the Tribune Company, saying when the WGN TV contract comes up next year, they’re examining their options.
The Trib’s Cubs writer, Paul Sullivan, says the tradition (since 1948) of Cubs games on WGN-TV and the ability of fans to see the Cubs most anywhere in the country on WGN America will not matter to the owners as much as money, when it comes time to make the decision.
I posted a link to the story on my Facebook page and my journalism guru and tuba buddy Dr. Jim Hoyt, Emeritus UW Professor, commented “Nothing is sacred in broadcasting. I don’t like that.” I don’t, either. The Cubs and WGN are, and always will be inseverably connected in my mind, just as strongly as Harry Caray is connected with the Cubs and WGN in my mind.
It’s all about money now. It has nothing to do with loyalty or tradition. And that sucks.
I’m a Brewers fan first, and a Cubs fan second. Why the Cubs? Because ever since the earliest days of Community Antenna TV, which morphed into Cable TV, I’ve been able to watch the Cubs. I love baseball. Loved playing it, loved broadcasting it, still love watching it on TV and in person, still love talking about it. And way back when cable was in its infancy, “Superstation WGN” was on just as many, if not more cable systems, than “Superstation WTBS”, Ted Turner’s outfit, which carried the Braves games.
When I lived in New Orleans, I couldn’t watch my Brewers unless they were on the game of the week. But I could see the Cubs on WGNO-TV four or five days a week. When I lived in Los Angeles, I couldn’t see my Brewers very often, but the Cubs were on the cable. Counting the past 30 years, I’ve probably seen as many Cubs games as Brewers games. Being married to a Cubs fan is a factor, too.
Nowadays, you can get cable or satellite TV anywhere in the nation, and you can get MLB-TV and see any team you want just by ordering the appropriate package. And the new owners of the Cubs are well aware of that fact. Anybody can get any team they want.
It’s all about the money, and nothing is sacred. And they’ll just add another 30 second ad between halves of each inning, and make the game longer, and they’ll make their money.