I don’t know if it’s a good long-term lesson or a bad one, but it turns out: yelling loudly on Twitter can result in changes at Marquee.
All of last year, folks beefed about the decision to suit up Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies on broadcasts. It was an intentionally old school look, and while I could probably be convinced that there was good thinking behind it, the look just never played. In a year already totally mucked up by the pandemic for Marquee’s debut, it was another layer that didn’t go right.
But they’ve heard the gripes and have adjusted course, poking a little fun at themselves in the announcement process:
— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) March 30, 2021
From a wardrobe perspective, it seems Boog Sciambi arrived at just the right time.
Now here’s where folks beef about where they can and cannot watch Marquee, and I feel that. Although the major cable providers all still carry Marquee heading into this season, the main streaming providers – YouTube TV and Hulu+ Live TV (ditto fuboTV and Sling, as far as I’ve seen) – still don’t have deals done with regional sports networks. That includes Marquee, so if you’re a cord-cutter, you currently don’t have an option for Cubs games outside of AT&T.
And if you poke around the web for updates right now, what you’ll find is fans in almost every market upset – and owners/executives trying to explain – that there are no streaming deals done outside of AT&T. Obviously the streamers can make these decisions for themselves, but obviously it also behooves the RSNs and MLB to make the games available to in-market cord-cutters. Eventually that might mean they have to figure out an a la carte approach, where people can just straight up buy an RSN app for the games, even in-market.
Two days until Spring Training. Anyone want to get back to the table? I was really hoping we’d hear about a last-minute push from Sinclair, the Cubs’ minority partner in Marquee who handles their carriage deals (and who owns the former FOX RSNs, and thus has theoretical negotiating leverage). But so far, it’s been silent publicly.
Not sure that a public haranguing campaign would work on this issue in quite the same way as the suit-and-tie thing did, though.