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.
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.
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.
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann
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