Q. So I know the Cubs channel starts today. Will Comcast have it? And what about other services that will have it? — Brian, Evanston, Illinois.
Brian, as you know, the Marquee Sports Channel, the new TV home of the Chicago Cubs, will premiere today at 2 p.m. ET. And at 8 p.m. ET, Marquee will air the first live game with the Cubs playing the Oakland Athletics in a spring training contest.
Marquee will be a regional sports network, meaning the Cubs live games will only be available in the team’s broadcast market which includes Illinois, Iowa, Indiana and parts of Wisconsin. Thus far, DIRECTV, U-verse, AT&T TV (and Now), Mediacom and Charter have agreed to carry it.
But not Comcast, the largest pay TV provider in the Chicago market. The cable operator and Marquee are still battling it out at the negotiating table with both sides saying they are hopeful of an agreement by opening day on March 26.
The fact that Comcast has still not signed on may not surprise most Cubs fans. But Marquee will also not be on Hulu Live today although the live streaming service announced a carriage agreement earlier this week.
Hulu’s Twitter support team said today that it hopes to add Marquee before opening day as well. However, unlike Comcast, Hulu has signed a carriage pact with Marquee so it’s just a matter of timing.
“We wanted to share we hope to have the Marquee Sports Network added to our Hulu + Live TV service before MLB opening day (3/26),” Hulu said today.
The TV Answer Man will continue to monitor Marquee’s negotiations with Comcast, and the Hulu launch, and will report back here if anything changes.
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— Phillip Swann