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Volume 26 No. 209
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Marquee Sports Network Continuing Comcast Talks Ahead Of Launch

The Cubs' Marquee Sports Network currently has deals in place to "run on a handful of carriers, including DirecTV, U-verse, AT&T TV, Charter Communications and Mediacom Communications," but it is "lost on no one that it's still negotiating with many others, including Comcast's Xfinity," according to Phil Rosenthal of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. The "general assumption has been that Marquee will get its affairs in order by the time the regular season starts at the end of March," but there is a possibility the RSN "drops the ball." Everyone "tends to point to the Dodgers and SportsNet LA as a bright flashing beacon of caution." Sources have said that the DirecTV deal "puts pressure on Comcast to pick up Marquee, although the AT&T services are in less than half as many Chicago-area households as Comcast's Xfinity." But it is "not yet clear whether that pressure is enough to push Comcast to sign on the dotted line sooner than later." The "longer it waits after Marquee's preseason launch next month, the more money it saves." Holding off on agreeing to a deal right away also "enables it to see just how much backlash there would be for holding out on Cubs games" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/6).