With a full season of ‘MLBS’ set to begin, the Chicago Cubs and Showtime have finally found their voice.
The Cubs’ ‘MLBB’ series, the latest series to be produced by Showtime, will kick off this spring with an eight-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Cubs are expected to host two series a year, beginning with the ‘MLMLBB: The Series’ in 2019, and the ‘MBA Baseball: Series’ this year.
The two series are slated to run concurrently.
The first is scheduled for March 15 at AT&T Park in San Francisco and the second will be March 29 at AT & T Park in New York.
The Chicago Cubs have been on the short list of MLB teams to produce a sports-centric ‘MLBs’ series since 2013, when Showtime acquired the rights to produce the series.
That season, the Cubs made a deal with ESPN, where they had the exclusive right to air the Cubs’ MLB broadcasts for two years.
In March 2016, the network announced that it had signed a deal to produce three series.
Showtime’s first series was a seven-game set in Atlanta in the midst of the NFL’s Super Bowl, which was scheduled for May 26.
The next season, Showtime acquired exclusive rights to air a nine-game baseball series featuring the Miami Marlins in late March and early April.
The series was to air exclusively on ESPN2.
In May 2017, Showtime announced that the network had signed an exclusive agreement with the Chicago White Sox to produce an eight game series, which will be a showcase for the White Sox during the MLB All-Star break.
The first season of that series was slated to air on ESPN, but the network decided to air it exclusively on its own cable network, ESPN Deportes.
The second season will air on Showtime and ESPN Depor.
In October 2018, Showtime and Showtime Deportés announced an agreement for an eight team series featuring Chicago Cubs slugger Kris Bryant, which is scheduled to air in 2020.
The deal is a direct extension of the deal announced in 2017 with the Cubs, but ESPN Depora will only air the series once.
The new agreement will give Showtime a much wider platform for its content.
According to ESPN, the deal with Showtime is worth approximately $4.8 million per year.
The average annual production fee for ‘MLBW’ series is $2.8M.