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Three of the Cubs’ first five 2019 games will be on ESPN

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The Worldwide Leader will be showing lots of Cubs early on.

Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for ESPN

It will still be a while before we learn the entire Cubs 2019 TV schedule, but we now know at least three early-season games will be available nationally (outside the usual blackout areas).

ESPN announced that it will be carrying the Cubs games on Sunday, March 31 at the Rangers (3 p.m. CT), Monday, April 1 at the Braves (7 p.m. CT) and Wednesday, April 3 at the Braves (7 p.m. CT). All of those broadcasts are “non-exclusive,” meaning they will also be broadcast by one of the Cubs’ TV partners.

There has been no official announcement from Fox-TV, but based on recent game time additions to the 2019 schedule, the Cubs will be on Fox’s Saturday “Baseball Night In America” at least four times: May 18 at the Nationals, June 1 at the Cardinals, June 8 at Wrigley Field vs. the Cardinals and July 6 at the White Sox. All of those games have a 6:15 CT starting time. I would expect more Fox dates to be added; teams can appear on Fox national broadcasts a maximum of eight times per season.

I’d expect the full 2019 broadcast schedule will be announced sometime in early February.