fuboTV Makes Deal to Carry Marquee Sports Net in Chicago

Addison Russell (27) of the Chicago Cubs during a regular season Sunday Night Baseball game.
(Image credit: Allen Kee / ESPN Images)

fuboTV, the sports-oriented streaming service, said it made a deal to carry the Marquee Sports Network--the home of the Cubs--in the Chicago area.

Marquee Sports Network was launched before last season as a joint venture between the Cubs and Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns a string of other regional sports networks that are being rebranded as Bally’s starting April 1.

"We are thrilled to have fuboTV offering Marquee Sports Network to Cubs fans. fuboTV has prioritized live sports and we look forward to them carrying Cubs baseball all season long," said Marquee Sports Network General Manager, Mike McCarthy.

A key issue with Marquee’s launch last year was gaining a distribution deal with Comcast, which covers most of the Chicago area. A deal was worked out in time for opening day.

Also Read: RSNs Scramble for Streaming Deals as Opening Day Approaches

The fuboTV deal comes at a time when other virtual multichannel video programming distributors aren’t carrying regional sports networks. Dish Network, along with its Sling vMVPD are among those without RSN deals.

“As we kick off the hotly anticipated 2021 baseball season, fuboTV is thrilled to bring consumers Marquee Sports Network’s extensive coverage of the Chicago Cubs,” said Ben Grad, fuboTV’s senior VP, content strategy and acquisition. “The addition of Marquee Sports Network to our leading sports, news and entertainment portfolio makes fuboTV a great streaming choice for Cubs fans, as well as other Chicagoans looking to cut the cord.”

Also Read: Sinclair-Bally’s Deal Could Be a Sign of the RSN Times

fuboTV stock has gone on a wild ride over the past year. Some analysts have questioned the potential profitability of the vMVPD business, while others see promise in its strategy to get into the gaming and betting business. The company reported a $167.8 million loss in the fourth quarter.

“We’re excited to add Marquee Sports Network and their coverage of the Chicago Cubs to fuboTV,” said fuboTV’s co-founder and CEO David Gandler. “Our Fubo Gaming subsidiary is headquartered in Chicago, and the midwest market, particularly Indiana and Iowa where we recently closed market access agreements, will be a key cluster for our gaming strategy in the future.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.