Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts on TV deal, Theo extension

SHARE Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts on TV deal, Theo extension

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts doesn’t plan any contract extension talks with team president Theo Epstein until after the season.

Chairman Tom Ricketts shed little light on the team’s years-long effort to line up a lucrative new regional TV rights deal to replace the current deal that runs through 2019.

“That’s going to be a very significant part of our finances going forward. We have to make sure we do it right,” Ricketts said. “We’ve got to be very thoughtful how that comes together. We have good people, good advisors, looking at all the different options, and we’ll just see how it all flows.”

Team president Theo Epstein has called the anticipated new TV deal a “game-changer” for the organization. Teams such as the Dodgers, Phillies, Rangers, Padres and Astros have all signed regional TV packages worth $800 million or more in recent years — though some believe that bubble has begun to deflate.

The Dodgers and Astros have been embroiled carriage issues since signing their deals, keeping much of their schedules from being viewed by many of their fans.

Ricketts added it’s not certain whether any Cubs deal would include multiple broadcast platforms.

“Things are changing in the media landscape, certainly,” he said. “What we do know is that content still has value, and we have a lot of great content, and obviously with a team that’s playing better, it’s even more valuable content.”

NOTE: Like Epstein two weeks earlier, Ricketts expressed a desire to extend Epstein’s contract beyond the five-year term that expires next year but said those talks will wait until after the season. “Theo and I have a great relationship. Obviously, the results are great,” Ricketts said. “Everyone in the baseball organization, we’re on a mission. And we want to keep that mission going forward.”

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