This story actually made news several days ago, but given the busyness of the London Series and my travel back stateside, I didn’t have a chance to post here about it until now. We still don’t have a specific launch date or pricing details, but here’s what we do know, via Jeff Agrest at the Sun-Times:
The Cubs are planning to launch an in-market, direct-to-consumer streaming service for Marquee Sports Network after the All-Star break, team president of business operations Crane Kenney said Saturday on The Score.
“To reach our fans that have cut the cord, we’re introducing a streaming service this year,” Kenney said. “We’re aiming for July, sometime after the All-Star break, to bring a service for those who say I cut the cord, I don’t have Fubo — which we are available on — but I’d like to buy Marquee individually, just the channel, to see Cubs games.”
This will allow you to subscribe to Marquee if you live in the Cubs’ market territory. That, of course, gives me a chance to post this map again:
The Cubs market is shaded light blue. It’s shared with the White Sox, which is why the map legend says “Chicago (both).”
Until now, you would have had to subscribe to one of these cable/satellite providers to watch all of Marquee’s programming. Once the streaming service (formally called “direct to consumer” or DTC for short) launches, you’ll be able to buy that directly from Marquee. That will include, of course, the live games.
Outside the market territory, you can only watch Cubs games by subscribing to MLB.TV or MLB Extra Innings. Also outside the market territory, other Marquee programming (everything besides live games) is available on two services: DirecTV and fuboTV. The Cubs hope to be able to bring that programming to other services in the future.
As noted above, specific details aren’t available yet but we do know the prices for three teams that have DTC services now:
The Red Sox’ service costs $29.99 per month and $329.99 per year. The Yankees’ costs $24.99 per month and $239.99 annually. MLB’s service for the Padres costs $19.99 per month.
I’d guess somewhere in that range is where you’ll find the price point for Marquee’s service when it launches. As always, we await developments, and when there are price points, etc. I will post them here.