Faced with losing millions in revenue due to a shortfall of subscribers because of their failure to sign cable giant Comcast, the Marquee Sports Network recruited several local high school TV stations to broadcast Cubs games and related programming.
“It’s the ‘from little acorns’ strategy,” network GM Mike McCarthy said. “With hundreds of high school stations, we’ll hit the exacta by building an audience, as well as influencing teenagers to become baseball fans.”
“We’re vitally stoked,” said Maverick Chomolenday, student manager of the New Trier TV station called Mundo Extravaganza. “From what I hear from my bros, on weekends, we’ll have 40, maybe 50 kids tuning in.”
“For us, it means branching out into a new strata, sports,” Fennela ‘Fenny’ Gladstone, Chief Resonator of Chicago’s Francis Parker High School’s station said. She told website, Parker News, “Right now we do forma livre, free form.”
Current programming ranges from topics such as how to become a sheepherder to searching for the eighth Astroplane. “Baseball. Now that’s an unusual topic,” Gladstone said.
When asked about the plan, Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney said it is a “solid one” that Chairman Tom Ricketts signed on to immediately.
According to Kenney, “We’ll draw hundreds of new viewers and reach a whole new demographic, the important 13-18 year old market.”
“Like we told the kids when we pitched the idea,” Kenney said, “it’s totally lit.”
Kenney said that in addition to the audience boost, Marquee plans to tap into the new partnership for talent as well.
”Since we have only a few carriers in place, we’ve had a tough time hiring behind-the-scenes staffers,” said Kenney. “Some of these high schoolers are real wizards at editing, which is better than our current plan of having Todd Ricketts edit stuff on his laptop in between RNC fundraisers.”