Throughout the fall we have been following the Cubs' pursuit of a new TV contract for the WGN-TV portion of their deal which ended after the 2014 season. Approximately 70 games are involved.
About three weeks ago it was announced that 25 of these games would be carried on ABC7 Chicago, with the possibility still existing that these 25 games would be available on local digital subchannels in various midwest markets that are within MLB's blackout areas.
That still leaves 45 games unaccounted for. I reached out to the Cubs for comment, and was told to "hang tight," and that these games would definitely have a TV home for the 2015 season.
It still appears to me that the most logical landing place for the remaining 45 games would be WGN-TV, likely local only. WGN America has already stopped carrying Bulls games and it seems unlikely they'd be involved in carrying any Cubs games going forward. If WGN-TV local picks up these games, the Cubs could also possibly strike deals with digital subchannels in the blackout areas so that Cubs fans outside of Chicago can see these games.
To recap, in 2015 we'll see about 80 Cubs games on CSN Chicago, 25 on ABC7 Chicago, and about 10-12 on national networks Fox and ESPN. The 2015 schedule still has lots of "TBD" times on weekends, meaning the national networks haven't chosen games yet (beyond Opening Night, April 5 with the Cubs facing the Cardinals at Wrigley confirmed on ESPN). The Cubs, with the addition of Joe Maddon and Jon Lester, should be a choice for quite a number of national games.
The other 45 games? Well, they'll be somewhere, definitely viewable in the Chicago metro area and likely via MLB.TV and/or Extra Innings if you're out of the blackout areas.
Those blackout areas are, hopefully, something that will be a thing of the past as baseball TV likely transitions to some sort of online model over the next several years.
In the meantime, stay tuned, as we hope to hear an announcement from the Cubs soon.