Kenney: Marquee Close To Agreement With Comcast

An agreement was imminent before MLB suspended its season.

Bruce Levine
May 15, 2020 - 9:24 am
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(670 The Score) Before MLB games resume, the Cubs expect the Marquee Sports Network to reach a carriage deal with Comcast to carry the station.

An agreement between the sides was close to getting done before the MLB season was suspended on March 12, Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney said on an online call with season-ticket holders Thursday evening.

Reaching an agreement with Comcast was a focus for the Cubs and Marquee this spring, as it serves around half the Chicago market. All of the Cubs' games that aren't national broadcasts will be shown on Marquee, the team's new network that launched in February.

Marquee has reached carriage deals with most major providers in the region, a process that started early with DirecTV. The network is also available on Hulu. Marquee hasn't reached a deal yet with YouTube, another popular streaming platform.

"The negotiation with Comcast, the pace of the conversations were picking up rapidly as we approached Opening Day," Kenney said. "I had every confidence Comcast was going to be aboard for our opener. Obviously, with the suspension of the season, some of those conversations have slowed down. They are continuing, but the pace isn’t what we saw in the middle of March.

"Same thing is true with YouTube. Without live games, their interest in carrying the network has waned. Based on the conversations with Sinclair, who are leading the negotiations, all of the evidence is the moment baseball is coming back, those conversation will ramp back up and we will get something done there. I remain confident we will get Comcast to carry Marquee. We are in half of the homes in Chicago, so Comcast represents the largest block we are missing. We are not giving up on YouTube or Dish. Comcast is the one that has to get done, and I think that gets done hopefully right around the time we start playing again."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine​.