Chicago Cubs

Cubs and Sinclair team up to launch regional sports network in 2020

But if all goes according to plan and cable providers from Southwest Michigan to Iowa — Major League Baseball ’s designated home broadcast turf for the team — agree to carry the new network, viewers will have no choice but to watch local Cubs games on pay TV

Sinclair owns 191 TV stations and the Tennis Channel, which gives it leverage in negotiations with cable and satellite providers such as Comcast, DirecTV and Dish.

Live sports programming traditionally charges the highest fees on pay TV, led by ESPN, which received an average of $7.46 per subscriber per month last year, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Sinclair is also kicking the tires at Fox, which is divesting its regional sports networks as a requirement of its pending merger with Disney.

Last year, Sinclair saw its proposed $3.9 billion deal to buy Chicago-based Tribune Media crumble under scrutiny by the Federal Communications Commission over potential "misrepresentation or lack of candor" in its application.

“Live sports generally and the Cubs specifically are vitally important in the effort to stop the bleeding of subscribers and remain relevant as delivery systems change.”

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