As first reported by Jeff Agrest of the Sun-Times, Marquee Sports Network plans to broadcast most Cubs spring training games remotely. Boog Sciambi and Jim Deshaies will be at Sloan Park for the opening weekend, after which most of the contests will be called by broadcasters who aren’t physically in attendance. Agrest reports that 670 The Score’s Zach Zaidman and award-winning Iowa Cubs voice Alex Cohen will be among those filling in on the remote calls.
Some of this is due to availability, with Sciambi involved in ESPN’s college basketball coverage, but Marquee is also aiming to cut costs. Yeah, because why would a team-owned network want to spend more money on actual game broadcasts? While spring games certainly don’t draw as many eyeballs as those during the regular-season, especially once the starters are replaced by literal no-names with wide receiver numbers, this just feels chintzy.
On the bright side, Marquee still plans to broadcast almost all of the Cubs’ spring games and will be on-site for weekend contests. That’s a helluva lot better than having to worry about the viability of their TV contract, so I guess things could be worse. A full broadcast schedule should be released soon.