The rollout of the Marquee Television network for the Chicago Cubs has not been the cleanest and there have been little signs of improvement.
The network made their debut prior to the 2020 Major League Baseball regular season and that could not have come at a worst time. The entire country was in the middle of a pandemic that forced Major League Baseball to push back their regular season until July of that 2020. Couple that with the Cubs strained negotiations with Comcast, the top Cable-provider in Chicago, the network has often been criticized by their fan-base.
With a current lockout existing between Major League Baseball and Major League Baseball’s Players Association, Major League Baseball is once again in a position where the start of their regular season may be delayed.
The Cubs seemingly have not learned from their mistake of their rollout for the Marquee Television Network and are in talks to debut a streaming network this season. The New York Post is reporting that talks between the Cubs and Sinclair Broadcasting, the parent company of the Marquee Television Network, are progressing. Major League Baseball has pushed back against this idea and one of the reasons is the potential price. that the service would cost.
"One key point of concern for MLB, according to insiders, is the $18-a-month price tag that’s being floated for the new Cubs streaming service — a tab that’s higher than what users pay for streaming services like Netflix, HBO Max or Disney+ and which league officials fear will be too high for the average fan."
The $18-a-month price tag would unquestionably be a difficult ask for the average fan to pay in order to watch Cubs’ games. The fact of the matter is that baseball is broken in regards the interest that the game garners from their fanbase.
The Chicago Cubs show tone deafness with idea of fans paying for a streaming service.
The average baseball fan likely does not watch all 162 games of a regular season. Couple the lack of interest from the average fan watching all 162 games of a regular season with the fact the regular season is only 6 months long, paying $108 a year for the service seems unreasonable.
This also a difficult ask by the Cubs, specifically. Over the course of the past 12 months, the Cubs have traded away fan favorites such as Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant due to the team’s unwillingness to sign any of them a long-term contract extension. The Cubs have to first show an investment into their Major League Baseball product before asking fans to make an investment.