Q. Baseball season is getting a little closer and I want to watch my Cubbies this season. Do you know which TV services will carry the new Cubs channel? — Ann Marie, Arlington Heights, Illinois.
Ann Marie, the new Marquee Sports Network, which will be the exclusive home to Chicago Cubs game broadcasts, launches on February 22, 2020 with the Cubs playing the Oakland Athletics in a spring training contest.
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The channel replaces the previous providers of the Cubs games, which includes NBC Sports Chicago and WGN. Marquee, which is owned by the Cubs and the Sinclair Broadcast Group, will feature 150 live Cubs games as well as pre-game and post-game shows, and other Cubs-related programming.
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Marquee will be a regional sports network, meaning the Cubs broadcasts will only be available in the team’s broadcast market which includes Illinois, Iowa and Indiana.
As of today, the following providers have agreed to carry the Marquee Sports Network: DIRECTV, AT&T TV Now, Charter, Mediacom, and U-verse. The big holdout thus far is Comcast, which has the cable franchise for the Chicago market.
(Dish has also not signed on, but it’s not likely to do so, at least anytime soon. The satcaster is already in a blackout fee fight with the Fox regional sports networks, which are owned by, yes, you guessed it, Sinclair.)
Comcast would seem to be a good bet to reach an agreement before the start of the regular season. But it’s certainly not a guarantee. The pay TV industry is getting increasingly picky when it comes to adding new channels due to rising program acquisition costs and shrinking subscriber bases.
Click video to see Marquee promo:
The TV Answer Man will monitor this situation and report back here if the Comcast-Marquee stand-off is resolved.
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Dish will never be able to sign up for Marquee, because that provider will never carry any of the Sinclair-owned Fox Sports Regional Networks again, and everybody knows that. Dish chairman Charlie Ergen knows that, Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley knows that, all of the MLB, MLS, NBA and NHL teams that are on those networks know that.
In fact, Dish has stopped negotiations on July 26, and they are never going to resume. Ever. That’s a fact, and everybody knows that.
I urge Sinclair to start getting running agressive, negative ads against Dish, and make their subscribers switch providers, as soon as possible.
Glad to hear someone has come to their senses.
Now maybe they will have space for some GOOD stuff.
Sports should ONLY be broadcast to sports enthuses.
Millions of subscribers do NOT watch or want to pay for sports. .
Will also help LOWER our bills.
I live in Central Illinois, so I have some points to make on this.
1) Multiple reporters/bloggers are speculating that Comcast will announce their acceptance of Marquee during the Cubs fan convention of January 17-19, 2020.
2) The Chicago RSN of Comcast Sports Chicago(now NBC Sports Chicago) has carried a large % of Cubs games for many years. It also has carried the White Sox, Blackhawks, and Bulls among other things. The NBC Sports Chicago RSN will continue on now, but without the Cubs. So, Comcast/NBC have a natural antipathy with the new Cubs/Sinclair/Marquee venture. However, Marquee has the Chicago Cubs exclusive now. And, Comcast is the dominant cable provider for so much of the Cubs fandom area. Both Marquee and Comcast need each other to maximize their profits. So, it’s really a sort of shotgun marriage arrangement that both would agree to.
3) Outside the larger cities that Comcast provides service in Illinois and Indiana, there are dozens and dozens of small cable providers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, etc. So far, there have not been many announcements from these providers yet. Mediacom is one notable exception. The January/February timeframe will be important as Marquee has promised to broadcast Cubs Spring Training games.
Since the cubs have decided to let watch their game games they are losing me as a fan for 76 years goodbye.
I don’t think the Cubs will be the number one watched team anymore. SAD
Been a cubs fan 60 years.
Thanks for the memories.
I won’t be watching them anymore.
I have been an avid cubs fan since moving from New York to Indianapolis 40 years ago. I’ve recently retired and can’t afford high priced cable and satellite service. I do have ROKU and Hulu is there any way I can get my cubs games?