Chicago White Sox Jul 15, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; A detailed view of a Chicago White Sox hat and glove in the dugout against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Three Chicago sports teams are reportedly nearing a new broadcast rights deal with Stadium that could begin as soon as this fall.

NBC Sports Chicago currently holds the broadcast rights for the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks, but that deal expires in October.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday a deal with Stadium could be announced as soon as this week.

“The teams continue to have discussions and conversations about future broadcast plans and will have an announcement about those plans when appropriate,” White Sox senior vice president of communications Scott Reifert said (via the Sun-Times).

The deal had been expected by many analysts, given White Sox and Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf helped create Stadium in 2017, and acquired majority control in 2023 (however, he also owns a 50% stake in NBC Sports Chicago). The multiplatform sports network has its offices and studio in the United Center, home arena for the Bulls and Blackhawks.

According to the Sun-Times, Stadium would convert to a regional sports network. While Stadium has a streaming platform in place, it would require over-the-air broadcast partners to carry games.

Reinsdorf had been expected to make Stadium a player for broadcast rights given the current problems with the RSN business model. Diamond Sports Group, which operates 19 regional Bally Sports networks, filed for bankruptcy protection last year. Several NBC Sports regional networks have also lost broadcast rights deals, and NBCSCH could join that list this week.

Some analysts had speculated the expiration of the NBC Sports Chicago contract would help jump-start Stadium into the RSN world.

There’s a possibility the current NBC Sports Chicago contract could be extended six months, meaning the Stadium deal would take effect for the start of the 2025 MLB season.

Stadium made news last week when it signed a deal to stream games for the Savannah Bananas exhibition baseball team.

[Chicago Sun Times]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.