By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman
The Marquee Sports Network, the regional TV home of the Chicago Cubs, today launched a standalone streaming service for $19.99 a month. The $19.99 a month price is the same as Major League Baseball is charging for its in-market broadcasts of the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks at MLB.TV. The league started broadcasting their games this season after RSN partner Diamond Sports ended its agreements with the teams as part of its bankruptcy reorganization.
The Marquee streaming plan can be purchased on the new Marquee Sports Network app or at WatchMarquee.com. The RSN says the new service, which can also be accessed for free by fans with a subscription to Marquee via a pay TV service, will offer 1080p HD video, an improvement over the channel’s previous stream. “We’re thrilled to launch our new direct-to-consumer subscription option, providing all in-market Cubs fans with access to Marquee Sports Network, including live Cubs games,” said Mike McCarthy, Marquee Sports Network’s general manager. “The new Marquee Sports Network App will also provide an improved 1080p streaming experience for all Marquee Sports Network subscribers. We look forward to continuing to bring Cubs baseball to the passionate Cubs fans across the region.”
Marquee’s new standalone service continues a growing trend in Major League Baseball. The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are also available without need of a multi-channel pay TV subscription. And Bally Sports Plus, the standalone streaming unit for Diamond Sports, offers the games of five MLB teams (Rays, Tigers, Royals, Marlins, Brewers) via separate subscriptions. The Red Sox channel, NESN 360, charges $29.99 a month for its service while the Yankees’ standalone Yes Network stream costs $24.99 a month.
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— Phillip Swann