Teams were supposed to report to spring training on Tuesday – and that obviously didn’t happen with no progress between the league and players in CBA talks. But that didn’t stop the Cubs from doling out a pair of multi-year contract extensions to the Marquee Network broadcast tandem of Boog Sciambi and Jim Deshaies.
"“I could not be more excited to continue being part of both the Marquee and Cubs families going forward,” said Sciambi. “Getting to work with my buddy JD, as well as Taylor, Elise and the entire production crew has been an absolute blast and there is nothing better than calling Wrigley Field home and broadcasting for the best fans in the game.”"
Sciambi replaced longtime fan favorite Len Kasper in the booth early last year after he departed to join the crosstown rival White Sox’ radio booth. He brings decades of experience, with the last decade-plus in various roles with ESPN.
Deshaies, of course, has been on the North Side for the last 10 years, working alongside Kasper until 2021 when Boog joined the team. His quirkiness has endeared him to fans of all ages – and it’s good to see him stick around, as well. There have been plenty of changes in recent years, so at least a little familiarity is nice.
There are still a lot of headwinds facing Marquee – including carriage deals (or lack thereof when it comes to major streaming service players in Chicagoland) and a proposed standalone Sinclair-backed streaming service that’s reportedly in the works (and facing league opposition).
Cubs need to focus on Marquee Network carriage deals moving forward
One way or another, the end-all, be-all goal for Marquee and the Cubs needs to be getting into more homes – period. The Cubs established a nation-wide fanbase thanks to decades spent on WGN. Since launching Marquee back in 2020, things have been far more regionalized – with countless Chicagoland homes left in the dark.
Here’s to hoping the club can get Boog and JD onto more platforms (I’m looking at you, YouTube TV and HuluTV) so they have a chance to establish themselves in the same way as generations of Cubs broadcasters that came before them.