The Chicago Cubs earned a No. 4 rankings in Forbes' 2012 Business of Baseball rankings, behind the No. 1 New Yankees and ahead of their crosstown rivals, the No. 10 Chicago White Sox.
According to Forbes, the Cubs -- now worth $879 million -- has gained about 14% in value over the last year, an impressive feat for a club dealing with a weak on-field product and certain debt issues:
The Cubs are over the league's operating income-to-debt limit ratio of 10 as result of $580 million in debt that was taken on as a result of the purchase of the team by the Ricketts family from Tribune in 2009. MLB commissioner Bud Selig has given the Cubs a pass for the time being. But the team has been rightly focusing on increasing ancillary revenue through concerts ... [and ad sales]. The Cubs have also moved more televised games from WGN-TV to Comcast SportsNet Chicago (of which the team owns 20%) because the team gets more revenue per broadcast from the regional sports network (about $450,000).
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts has repeatedly expressed an interest in building a Cubs television network similar to that of the Yankees' YES Network, which would presumably put the Cubs at or near the No. 2 team in the MLB.
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