In Chicago, Phil Rosenthal notes the Cubs "expect they’ll be able to pressure Comcast" in their Marquee Sports Network carriage dispute by "reaching agreements with streaming services." Such deals "would pose a competitive threat to Comcast, perhaps incentivizing disgruntled Xfinity subscribers to cut the cord." But there is "work to be done on that front as well." A deal is in place with AT&T TV, but Marquee has "yet to reach carriage agreements with YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV and FuboTV in the team’s market area" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/22).
YEAR 2: DEADLINE.com's Dade Hayes reported Bleacher Report has renewed the digital series, "Take It There With Taylor Rooks," for a second season. The show, which streams on YouTube and on the Bleacher Report site and app, will premiere Feb. 12 and "feature interviews" with Nets F Kevin Durant, Hawks G Trae Young and Thunder G Chris Paul (DEADLINE.com, 1/21).
LONG ROLL: In Albany, Pete Dougherty noted the Professional Bowlers Tour on ABC used to pack four matches into a 90-minute TV window, but the five-man stepladder finals of the HOF Classic "ran nearly 2 1/2 hours" Sunday on FS1. Over the decades, a 60-second commercial break has "evolved into four- to five-minute interruptions." What "bogged down the Fox telecast even more were the in-game features" (Albany TIMES UNION, 1/21).