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Laurence Holmes, Jeff Agrest Discuss Road Blocks To Cubs Streaming Service

“We see the billions of dollars the NFL gets. They know their value. Baseball teams are in a unique position because they have the most inventory.”

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Marquee logo

A lot has been made of the Chicago Cubs’ plans to launch a streaming service in partnership with Sinclair Broadcasting, which co-owns Marquee Sports with the team. On Wednesday, Laurence Holmes welcomed Chicago Sun Times Deputy Sports Editor Jeff Agrest to his show on 670 The Score to talk about the plan and just how quickly it may come to fruition.

The team cannot just flip a switch and launch a streaming version of Marquee Sports. Carriage agreements with the cable and satellite companies that distribute Marquee would have to be renegotiated.

Agrest said he has had trouble determining if the Cubs really do have total control of their streaming rights. If they don’t, it could really slow down their plans.

“MLB could say ‘we’re not giving you the streaming rights’ even though there are 4 teams in baseball whose rights belong to Sinclair or Bally Sports Network now,” Agrest said. “Look, they run the league, so I imagine there’s something they could do to get in the way of this. But if the Cubs have them now, it would be tricky for MLB to get in their way.”

Agrest said that streaming is “still a new frontier for sports,” but teams in all leagues know they have a product that advertisers value.

“They see what the distribution of their games gets them. We see the billions of dollars the NFL gets. They know their value. Baseball teams are in a unique position because they have the most inventory.”

The rumored price point is going to turn a lot of people off from a Cubs streaming service according to Jeff Agrest. At $18 per month, the cost will reportedly be higher than the Disney bundle of Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu.

That already causes alarm, but Agrest says that it doesn’t even really paint an accurate picture of what customers are being asked to shell out. In fact, he isn’t even sure the math works out as well for Marquee as it would for another regional sports network in the market.

“It can’t really be a monthly charge, because no one is going to want to pay for it in December, in January. It’s gonna have to be a yearly charge and that is going to change the mathematics of it,” he said. “The churn rate is going to be enormous for that type of product because it’s not a full season. Marquee has one team, whereas if you’re NBC Sports Chicago and you get to that point, and they will at some point, you at least have three teams and you can go year-round.”

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Eli Gold Out as Voice of Alabama Football; Ends 35-Year Run

“I will not be returning. The university chose to not bring me back. I have not retired!”

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Eli Gold
Courtesy: Alabama Athletics

The Tuscaloosa News has reported longtime University of Alabama radio play-by-play voice Eli Gold will not be returning next season. Gold, who has been in the position for 35 years, told Birmingham FOX 6 Reporter Jonathan Hardison, “I will not be returning. The university chose to not bring me back. I have not retired!”

The report says Chris Stewart, who has been calling Alabama basketball for the Crimson Tide Sports Network, will take over the football broadcasts.

“Eli has been an invaluable member of our broadcast team,” Jim Carabin, Vice President and General Manager of the Crimson Tide Sports Network said in a statement. “We are grateful for his years of service and wish him all the best in this next chapter. CTSN is fortunate to have someone as part of our existing broadcast team in Chris to step up and seamlessly transition into this role.”

Gold missed the 2022 season for health reasons, otherwise he has been calling Crimson Tide games each season since 1988. Gold, 70, had been diagnosed with cancer just over one year ago but called home games in 2023. Stewart filled in for Gold both in 2022 and 2023.

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670 The Score Hosting ‘QB1 Town Hall’ to Debate Future of Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

“We’re looking forward to opening up this conversation to our listeners and Bears faithful.”

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670 The Score – QB1 Town Hall
Courtesy: Audacy

Audacy-owned 670 The Score in Chicago will host a unique discussion to deliberate what the future could hold for the Chicago Bears quarterback position on Wednesday’s edition of the Parkins & Spiegel Show.

Following a 7-10 campaign by the Bears that marked the third consecutive season without a playoff berth for the team, there have been several questions surrounding the future of starting quarterback Justin Fields. The Bears have the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft in a class with several accomplished college quarterbacks. Having selected Fields with the 11th-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the organization could look to move on from him, although he is coming off a season where he threw for more than 2,500 yards for the first time in his career.

Emanating from the Audacy Chicago Blue Cross Blue Shield Performance Stage, afternoon co-hosts Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel will deliver insightful perspectives and opinions on this quandary that has the football world waiting for a potential resolution. Various football experts will join the program, which will also include a live audience, contributing to the conversation surrounding this pressing topic.

The station ran a contest last week that determined the crowd at Wednesday’s event, known as the “QB1 Town Hall.” Members of the crowd will also be able to express their opinions and ask questions to a panel composed of Audacy personalities and sports industry professionals.

“This decision will determine the entire season’s trajectory and the fans are passionate about their views on it,” Mitch Rosen, vice president of programming at 670 The Score and BetQL Network, said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to opening up this conversation to our listeners and Bears faithful.”

Consumers can listen to the “QB1 Town Hall” broadcast of the Parkins & Spiegel Show on 670 The Score, the Audacy mobile app and company website. Additionally, video functionality will be available through the official 670 The Score Twitch and YouTube channels. The program will run from 2 to 6 p.m. CST.

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Hugh Douglas and Joe Giglio Celebrate Anniversary on 94 WIP

“Happy Anniversary, Hugh!…Yes, it is the one year anniversary of the midday show, of the change at WIP. Our key cards still work here, they still let us in this morning.”

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Logo for WIP Middays with Hugh Douglas and Joe Giglio
Courtesy: 94 WIP

94 WIP hosts Hugh Douglas and Joe Giglio celebrated their one-year anniversary as the midday show in Philadelphia today. Following Angelo Cataldi’s retirement in 2023 and the subsequent move of DeCamara and Ritchie taking his place in mornings, Douglas and Giglio formed the station’s new midday show.

Giglio started the show, “Happy Anniversary, Hugh!…Yes, it is the one year anniversary of the midday show, of the change at WIP. Our key cards still work here, they still let us in this morning.”

Douglas, who had been part of the morning show at 92.9 The Game in Atlanta prior to starting with Giglio on 94 WIP, had mixed emotions. He was excited for the show, but was also reminded that he had been in Philadelphia now for a full year and had yet to find his permanent place to live. Giglio said he believes the reasoning is simply Douglas’ attention to the show and nothing else.

Giglio took a moment to thank those who help with and listen to the show. “We appreciate everyone who has been a part of the show for the last year,” he said. “We are excited for the next year to get started.”

Douglas played in the NFL for ten years, spending time with the Jets, Eagles and Jaguars.

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