Hulu may not have very many live sports and YouTube has likewise dropped almost all of its regional sports affiliations, but there will be a new platform through which to stream Marquee Sports Network this season. Marquee and fuboTV Inc. announced Wednesday a carriage agreement that will bring Cubs coverage to the leading sports-first live TV streaming platform in the coming weeks.
Through fuboTV, subscribers within the Cubs’ broadcast territory will have access to all Marquee programming, not just live game broadcasts. Marquee will be available in fuboTV’s basic English language channel package in the Chicago area and surrounding regions, including Indianapolis, South Bend, and Des Moines. The full footprint remains the same, so this does not represent a change in the existing blackout region as you know it.
There are two packages available, starting at $64.99 for the 113-channel Basic level and moving to $79.99 for the Elite bundle with 158 channels. Elite also comes with more space in its cloud DVR and allows the use of up to 10 screens at a time. Fans can stream fuboTV on pretty much all phones, tablets, and smart TVs, and other such devices.
“We are thrilled to have fuboTV offering Marquee Sports Network to Cubs fans,” said Marquee Sports Network General Manager, Mike McCarthy. “fuboTV has prioritized live sports and we look forward to them carrying Cubs baseball all season long.”
Even though fuboTV doesn’t have the same clout as the other streaming services mentioned, it has used sports as a value prop and should have a little more continuity with Marquee as a result. Of course, the slogan “Hulu has live sports” indicated the same before that platform moved to “Hulu doesn’t just have live sports.”
The endgame, of course, is to get away from MLB’s archaic restrictions and move to an a la carte style service that allows networks to sell their services to interested individuals sans carrier and regardless of location. That still feels like a pipe dream at this point, but there’s been a little traction on that front over the last few months and it’s probably not that far off.
All it’ll take is for MLB to figure out how to best monetize the new delivery methods in a manner that allows the league and owners to pocket as big a percentage as possible. I mean, for MLB to figure out how to best share the revenue so that everyone wins.
For now, chalk this up as a small win for fans who have already cut the cord or have been waiting to.