In years past, today – the day the Chicago Cubs announced their Spring Training broadcast schedule – was a pretty big deal.
In a pre-Marquee world, only about 6-8 Spring Training games would be televised each year, so finding out when and where we’d first be able to get our eyes on some Cubs baseball was everything. But now, with Marquee televising nearly every single game (plus ESPN and 670 The Score picking up some slack along the way), this is little more than a Spring Training Schedule! And I love that.
As the Cubs put it so beautifully, “a Cubs game will be available every game day of the spring schedule via one or more broadcast mediums….”
Check it out:
Of course, this is really only half the battle, as so many of us in Chicago subscribe to a cable provider (like Comcast, for one example) that doesn’t yet have a deal in place with Marquee.
And although the entire Cubs’ regional territory is technically covered by a provider that will carry the network, Comcast is a very big one. Moreover, while the the various streaming services – YouTube TV, Hulu Live, fuboTV, etc. – are still working with the Cubs on deals, I don’t believe anything is in place on that front just yet, either. And while both the Cubs and Comcast might feel some pressure to more seriously iron out the final details of whatever agreement is ultimately coming, Spring Training is not Opening Day and I wouldn’t expect it to act as some sort of natural deadline. There simply will not be the same amount of leverage or public pressure.
It’s all extremely complicated – and more Brett’s area of expertise, than mine – but I wanted to point that out before we all got too excited to fire up some Cubs baseball.
BUT … if you’re one of those lucky folks with RCN (or one of the other providers carrying Marquee) or the Cubs/Comcast figure something before Opening Day, we could be in store for a TON of Cubs baseball very soon.
The first game – and launch of MSN – is against the Oakland A’s on Saturday, February 22nd! That’s LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AWAY!