While the Cubs are branching out to create their own network, the White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks will stay put with the network they’ve been with since 2004.
As the Sun-Times reported last month, NBC Sports Chicago will be the home for the White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks for several more years starting in the 2019-2020 season.
The multi-year contract, announced Wednesday morning, is pending MLB, NBA and NHL approval. If granted, NBC Sports Chicago, the regional NBC-Comcast sports channel, will have exclusive regional rights to regular-season games, pre-season and spring training games and the first round of postseason coverage for the Bulls and Blackhawks.
The one notable team that won’t return to NBC Sports Chicago is the Cubs, who are in the process of starting a new network with Sinclair Broadcast Group, the Sun-Times previously reported.
NBC Sports Chicago, previously known as Comcast SportsNet Chicago, was pressured to put in place a new contract given the fact their current deal expires October 2019.
White Sox and Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said he’s “very pleased” to extend his relationship with NBC Sports Chicago.
“In addition to being the experts in consistently delivering the finest game and surrounding game coverage in the business, it is their year-round commitment to providing our fans with innovative and entertaining multi-platform content that makes NBC Sports Chicago among the very best in the regional sports industry,” Reinsdorf said in a statement. “Chicago sports fans are the greatest, and we are pleased that this agreement allows for the very best access to Bulls, Blackhawks and White Sox live action and content.”
Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz echoed Reinsdorf in his statement, adding that fans should be “very excited” that the team will continue its partnership with the local sports network.