The Cubs TV partnership with conservative-leaning Sinclair Broadcasting has some fans concerned.
Will we see pro-Trump pundits in the booth during the seventh-inning stretch or discussions on the need for the border wall while Anthony Rizzo is at the plate?
The Cubs insist it won’t be like ESPN’s ill-fated “Sunday NFL Countdown” decision in the ’90s to use conservative broadcaster Rush Limbaugh as an analyst. In other words, we won’t see Sinclair commentator Boris Epshteyn in the booth with Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies.
Cubs business president Crane Kenney tried to calm the nerves of jittery fans during an interview Thursday with ESPN-AM 1000’s David Kaplan.
“The programming is in our hands, the distribution will be in their hands,” Kenney said.
“I’ve seen some of the narrative on social media around the worry on right-wing bias. And I’d say, A: It doesn’t exist on the Tennis Channel (which Sinclair owns) if you watch any of their programming there. There’s no news bias.
“I’d also point out whether you’re right wing or left-wing bent, Fox News Channel has a right-wing agenda, but you don’t see any of that creeping into their NFL broadcast or the Fox broadcasts of Major League Baseball for that matter. And the same thing too with NBC.
“So you don’t see Tucker Carlson showing up in any of the Fox Major League Baseball broadcasts, and you won’t see any of that with Marquee Sports Network either. So that really is not a worry.”
We won’t know until 2020 whether the telecasts will be the same, but it would seem insane to mix Sinclair’s politics with Cubs baseball.
The biggest problem with Fox broadcasts during the baseball postseason are the cutaways to actors starring in Fox TV shows.