DIRECTV today began offering the Marquee Sports Network, the regional TV home of the Chicago Cubs, to its entire audience, not just the Chicago market.
However, there’s a catch. Two catches, actually.
1. The regional channel’s live Cubs games will remain exclusive to the Chicago market.
2. To watch the rest of the Marquee Sports Network lineup, you will need to subscribe to DIRECTV’s ‘Sports Pack,” which costs $13.99 a month. That’s in addition to the cost of your basic programming package.
The Sports Pack add-on package includes 40 different sports channels including ACC Network, CBS Sports Network, TVG, The Outdoor Channel, and other top regional sports channels such as AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh, NESN, MASN, Fox Sports South, FSN San Diego, and so on. It’s a nice addition for rabid sports fans, but the regional sports channels in Sports Pack do not include live games from MLB, NBA or the NHL and that’s the same for Marquee Sports here.
DIRECTV subscribers outside the Chicago market who subscribe to Sports Pack will get Marquee’s pre-game and post-game Cubs programs as well as shows such as The Reporters, a Sunday morning discussion show with local media members, Cubs Classics, which is full replays of historic Cubs games, and Icons of the Ivy, interviews with great Cubbies of the past.
“We are thrilled to now offer Marquee Sports Network to DIRECTV and its customers across the country, giving Cubs fans access to all of our unique programming and studio content,” said Marquee Sports Network General Manager Mike McCarthy. “Our goal has always been to deliver Cubs content, as well as all of our programming, to fans nationwide and we’re thankful for this expanded carriage agreement with DIRECTV.”
“The addition of Marquee to DIRECTV’s Sports Tier further cements our leadership position in regional sports networks across all pay TV providers,” said Rob Thun, Chief Content Officer, DIRECTV. “It also gives passionate, displaced Cubs fans nationwide access to popular team content not available elsewhere.”
Thun notes that Marquee has been added to DIRECTV’s ‘Sports Tier.’ A DIRECTV spokesman confirms to the TV Answer Man that means the Sports Pack.
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— Phillip Swann