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Cubs, WGN-TV sign new broadcast rights agreement

In this Nov. 3, 2014 file photo, Joe Maddon, left, shakes hands with Theo Epstien, president of baseball operations, after Maddon was introduced as the new manager of the Chicago Cubs baseball team. As the season ended the Cubs began a long-planned renovation of Wrigley Field, hired big-name manager Maddon, and added high-priced free agents. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

The Cubs will return to WGN-TV in 2015 and beyond with a new 45-game, five-year agreement, the club announced Thursday afternoon.

Terms of the deal have yet to be released.

As part of the new agreement, broadcasters Jim Deshaies and Len Kasper will become employees of the Chicago Cubs after previously being employed through WGN-TV.

“Cubs fans have grown accustomed to watching Cubs baseball on WGN since 1948, so we are pleased to continue this longstanding tradition through our new broadcast agreement,” Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney said in a statement. “We are very excited to begin a new chapter of Cubs baseball with WGN and welcome Jim Deshaies and Len Kasper, two of the best broadcasters in the business, as teammates in our organization.”

The Cubs previously opted out of their contract with WGN after last season, leaving 70 games without a television home.

Twenty-five of those games were picked up by WLS-TV last month with a contract that runs through 2019. Comcast SportsNet Chicago owns the rights to the rest of the Cubs’ television schedule.

WGN will only air games on local television, not on WGN America.