Starting next season, all Chicago Cubs baseball games will only be televised on their exclusive Sinclair Broadcasting channel. This marks the first time that fans will need to pay to watch any games from the 2020 season and beyond. This will also be the first time since 1948 that “Chicago’s very own” local Superstation, WGN, will no longer televise any of the Cubs’ games, though they will still be carried by WGN radio.
Sinclair Broadcasting has been rightly vilified for requiring local affiliate stations to read word-for-word prepared editorials with a decidedly right-wing bias. Humorist John Oliver delivered a blistering takedown of Sinclair Broadcasting on his show Last Week Tonight.
When coupled with the recent leaking of racist and Islamophobic emails by Joe Ricketts, the patriarch of the family that owns the Cubs AND co-owner Todd Ricketts position as chief fundraiser for Donald Trumps reelection, it’s clear that the Cub’s reputation has taken a severe PR hit this off-season.
Will all be forgiven once the season begins? Will fans pony up some extra cash to see their team in action? That may depend on their performance this season.