Chicago Cubans? Mark Says No
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Mar 1, 2007 5:00PM
Who do we believe -- Radar Magazine or Mark Cuban? Radar reported on Wednesday that billionaire tech entrepeneur, blogger and owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team is preparing to make a $625 million bid for the Chicago Cubs. A source supposedly familiar with the situation claims, "Mark is desperate to buy the Cubs. He wants this so bad."
However, Cuban's response to the Trib via email stated that the rumor was "not true."
In the past, Cuban has expressed interest in owning the Cubs. As recently as February 9, he mentioned that he might have interest in pursuing additional sports franchises.
During an interview with TheStreet.com, Cuban said in response to a question about his interest in the Cubs:
I'm always interested in iconic teams or teams from my hometown [Pittsburgh], but it's a "nice to do," not a "have to do."
So we don't know whether Cuban is actually planning a bid for the Cubs and playing coy, or whether there are no current plans to inquire about the Cubs. But we do know that he has expressed interest in the past, and the Trib remains in financial trouble.
More importantly, Cuban is clearly no idiot when it comes to business. Just as Ted Turner used the Atlanta Braves to grow TBS in the '80's, Cuban could use the Cubs' game broadcasts for content on his HDNet High Def cable channels. A little more compelling content than NHL hockey, we'd say... and it would probably be the best thing that could happen to the Cubs. And the boost in value of HDNet with Cubs games on the channel would certainly help explain a bid that is so much higher than Forbes $448 estimated value for the team.
The Cubs are getting awfully close to the century mark since their last World Series title, but if Cuban could turn around the moribund Mavs then he's probably the Cubs' best hope for reaching the World Series sometime in any of our lifetimes.
Image via CNN/SI