Cubs to launch their own sports network

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs are launching their own sports network.

President of business operations Crane Kenney said the team hopes to have it running in time for spring training next year.

He said the Cubs will have a "strategic partner," though he wouldn't reveal any names, and teams from outside Chicago could be involved with the network.

Kenney -- speaking Saturday at the team's fan convention -- said more details likely will be released in the next month.

The Cubs have been partners with the White Sox, NBA's Bulls, NHL's Blackhawks and NBC Sports Chicago -- formerly Comcast SportsNet Chicago -- since 2004. That deal expires this year.

The other three teams announced a multiyear contract with NBC Sports Chicago this month.