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Cubs leaving NBC Sports Chicago, starting own network (link corrected!)

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The rumors were true; the Cubs are going their own way. It remains to be seen if a single-team RSN can make a go of it. Will the Blackhawaks eventually join them?  The baseball-hockey RSN model works in New England (NESN)
https://awfulannouncing.com/local-networks/cubs-marquis-rsn-sinclair-nbc-sports-chicago.html

Edited by newsbot

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The Chicago Sun Times reports that 2019 will be their last season on NBCSCH. The network will be called "Marquee" (seriously) and will be a partnership with (here's the best part)..... Sinclair Broadcast Group! Maybe they'll air Bottom Line with Boris during the pre-game shows.

Glad I'm a White Sox fan.

https://chicago.suntimes.com/sports/while-cubs-prepare-to-launch-marquis-hawks-bulls-sox-return-to-nbcsch/ 

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Sinclair's Chicago-based 'Stadium' network is a solid, good-looking product. Ultimately, the Cubs should have all intellectual control, with Sinclair merely being a partner with the ability to get it on the air, just like Fox has/had been for YES. As for the name, eh, but a big red stadium marquee is one of the most synonymous images with the Cubs.

Edit: the spelling of the network's name may not be clear, yet. One source is referring to it as 'Marquis', which makes little sense. I'm sticking with the Sun-Times' spelling, for now.

Edited by 24994J
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Maybe this is the actual reason why Sinclair wanted Tribune?

Also if it is called Marquee, I could probably see "Marquee Sports" or "Marquee Sports Network" as a more natural name.

Edited by Viper550

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I wonder if it’ll be a Sportsnet LA clone, with almost all programming centered around the Cubs. 

Edited by Georgie56

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The name is definitely Marquee and probably comes from the iconic marquee at Wrigley Field.

The name's a home run. The Sinclair involvement, not so much.

Edited by Ramona
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3 takeaways on this:

 

1. If Sinclair and the Cubs want to avoid the garbage that's going on with the Dodgers and their RSN, they're going to need the Blackhawks to leave the Bulls and the White Sox and team up with the Cubs and convince cable operators to add the channel, because without a 2nd team on the new RSN, it's going to not end well for the Cubs (as we've seen in LA with the Dodgers)

2. I don't think "Marquis" or "Marquise" however the name is called will be the official name for the network. I think the official name for it will be "Stadium SportsNet Chicago" it won't be called "Stadium Sports Chicago" as it'll cause confusion between that and "NBC Sports Chicago"

3. This may boost Sinclair's chances of them buying some or most of the 22 Fox Regional Sports Networks with them partnering with the Cubs (and the Blackhawks) to start an RSN in Chicago

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5 minutes ago, oknewsguy said:

3 takeaways on this:

 

1. If Sinclair and the Cubs want to avoid the garbage that's going on with the Dodgers and their RSN, they're going to need the Blackhawks to leave the Bulls and the White Sox and team up with the Cubs and convince cable operators to add the channel, because without a 2nd team on the new RSN, it's going to not end well for the Cubs (as we've seen in LA with the Dodgers)

2. I don't think "Marquis" or "Marquise" however the name is called will be the official name for the network. I think the official name for it will be "Stadium SportsNet Chicago" it won't be called "Stadium Sports Chicago" as it'll cause confusion between that and "NBC Sports Chicago"

3. This may boost Sinclair's chances of them buying some or most of the 22 Fox Regional Sports Networks with them partnering with the Cubs (and the Blackhawks) to start an RSN in Chicago

Did you read the article, orrrrrrr...?

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Just now, 24994J said:

Did you read the article, orrrrrrr...?

Yes I did, and a Cubs-centric RSN isn't going to bode well for the team or Sinclair, a prime example of that is what's going on in Los Angeles

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2 hours ago, oknewsguy said:

Yes I did, and a Cubs-centric RSN isn't going to bode well for the team or Sinclair, a prime example of that is what's going on in Los Angeles

I don't disagree with that. All I was getting was that Marquee (in some form or another) is the likely name, and the Blackhawks are not coming along. Those are things that aren't about to change.

Anyway, WLS mentioned the network in their sports briefs tonight, ensuring everyone that this does not change theirs or anyone else's broadcast arrangements for 2019. I'm guessing publicity and analysis will pick up this week, but then we won't hear much else until the team's annual fan convention sometime later next month.

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The SportsNet LA debacle was due to Time Warner Cable paying excessive rights fees to the Dodgers, which led to clearance problems with other operators. That won't necessarily be the case with Marquee due to team ownership of the network. As the team has skin in the game, Marquee has a powerful incentive to avoid the same pitfalls that befell SportsNet. The question then becomes whether the Cubs can make more money on their own than they would have by staying with the NBC Sports Chicago partnership.

Edited by newsbot

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Just a thought: Is Sinclair involved because of the now dead idea they were gonna get WGN?

Seems like that’s the only reason they should be involved. I know they have Stadium but ehhhhhhh

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8 hours ago, alex979 said:

The Chicago Sun Times reports that 2019 will be their last season on NBCSCH. The network will be called "Marquee" (seriously) and will be a partnership with (here's the best part)..... Sinclair Broadcast Group! Maybe they'll air Bottom Line with Boris during the pre-game shows.

I've watched Stadium a few times in pieces before. It has a pretty good product and looks like a legit sports network. And Marquee is a perfect name for an RSN based in Chicago on account of one big bright red sign. Sinclair is a shitty station owner, no doubt; but don't underestimate their owned TV networks. They know what they're doing there.

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9 hours ago, TSSZNews said:

Just a thought: Is Sinclair involved because of the now dead idea they were gonna get WGN?

Seems like that’s the only reason they should be involved. I know they have Stadium but ehhhhhhh

 

No question. With WGN, Sinclair would've already had the infrastructure necessary to start a successful RSN. Without it, Sinclair now has to start fresh and make their largest investment the company has ever made to a single channel in order for it to turn out to be successful. 

Edited by Mrtraveler01

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14 hours ago, 24994J said:

I don't disagree with that. All I was getting was that Marquee (in some form or another) is the likely name, and the Blackhawks are not coming along. Those are things that aren't about to change.

Anyway, WLS mentioned the network in their sports briefs tonight, ensuring everyone that this does not change theirs or anyone else's broadcast arrangements for 2019. I'm guessing publicity and analysis will pick up this week, but then we won't hear much else until the team's annual fan convention sometime later next month.

They're going to need another team to join the Cubs, sorry to break this news to you but they're going to need some sort of programming when the Cubs aren't playing

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16 minutes ago, oknewsguy said:

They're going to need another team to join the Cubs, sorry to break this news to you but they're going to need some sort of programming when the Cubs aren't playing

Great, but they don't.

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15 minutes ago, oknewsguy said:

They're going to need another team to join the Cubs, sorry to break this news to you but they're going to need some sort of programming when the Cubs aren't playing

Exactly, use MASN as an example.  When it's not baseball season or hell even when the O's and Nats have off days, MASN's filler schedule on both channels consists of ESPNNews simulcasts, replays of classic Nats/O's games, old UFC fights, and college hoops/football games of yesteryear.

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1 hour ago, 24994J said:

Great, but they don't.

 

1 hour ago, TriangleTriadMediaNews said:

Exactly, use MASN as an example.  When it's not baseball season or hell even when the O's and Nats have off days, MASN's filler schedule on both channels consists of ESPNNews simulcasts, replays of classic Nats/O's games, old UFC fights, and college hoops/football games of yesteryear.

Come back to me on Opening Day 2020 when this "Marquise" RSN struggles to get cable providers such as DirecTV and Dish to carry the network, better hope WGN and WPWR still is part of the Cubs TV coverage, otherwise you may have to be stuck with the White Sox the same way most folks in LA are stuck with the Anaheim Angels (yes I know it's called LA Angels but I refuse to call them as such)

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Ah, I can hear it now: "Oh, golly no, we don't have a deal with those pesky Sinclair types, no way no how.  Those would be circumstances a bit too shady.  No, we have a deal in place with... er... Cunningham Broadcasting!  Like, totally and completely unrelated to Sinclair at all.  Yeah, that's the ticket!"

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Given the patriarch of the Ricketts family's political leanings, a deal with Sinclair would be the perfect match. IIRC, I  think Joe Ricketts owns a stake in Rural Media Group (RFD-TV) too. 

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