There's only one possibility for the meaning of "local Fox affiliate", since as noted, CSN Chicago has exclusive cable rights, and beyond that, there isn't a Fox Sports cable channel in Chicago anyway. That would have to be WFLD-TV, Fox-32, the over-the-air affiliate of the Fox network. How WFLD would fit Cubs games into their schedule, which is pretty well packed with local news and Fox network programming, is a puzzle to me. I would assume that they're talking about the 60 games now on WGN-TV, although some of those could move to CSN. Here's Theo Epstein talking about the TV deal:Behind the scenes, sources say the Cubs are in talks with Fox about their broadcasting future, working on a deal that would end the WGN connection that built the team’s national brand and potentially lay the groundwork for a second regional sports network in Chicago. The Cubs are locked into WGN for one more season, and Comcast SportsNet Chicago has exclusive cable rights through 2019. So one concept being discussed is a bridge deal that would put X-number of games on a local Fox affiliate during that five-year window, before taking the full schedule to a new channel in 2020.
“The story of the journey of the Chicago Cubs towards their first world championship in over a century is compelling,” Epstein said. “It’s going to be on your TV screen every day. “The biggest factor in all this is that there’s less and less content on TV that you need to see each day without DVR-ing. So what makes baseball attractive to TV networks is the fact that you have to watch it each night if you’re a fan. You can’t tape a game and watch it two weeks later. It’s already outdated. You can’t speed through the commercials. It’s daily content. And what’s better content than the Chicago Cubs crawling their way to a World Series title? “You would want to buy stock in the Cubs’ TV rights.”
One skeptical cable official put it this way: The Cubs can’t put up a Jumbotron, and they want to start their own TV network?
As always, we await developments.