WGN-TV. NBC Sports Network. CSN Chicago. Fox Sports Chicago. ABC7 Chicago.
Those are the names of TV channels that have carried Cubs games for the last 71 seasons.
Beginning in 2020, you’ll be watching Cubs games on the Marquee Sports Network, announced by the Cubs and Sinclair Broadcasting early Tuesday morning, in a 6 a.m. CT press release. The exact launch date of the channel was not mentioned.
In addition to live game broadcasts, which will continue to feature broadcasters Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies, the network will provide extensive pregame and postgame coverage, unique Cubs content and other local sports programming.
“We are excited to better serve our fans with expanded and exclusive programming showcasing our remarkable players, beloved ballpark and storied past,” said Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney in the release. “Our dedicated ‘Cubs-centric’ network will carry all available Cubs games and feature uncompromising, in-depth and behind-the-scenes coverage.”
The release also stated:
Given its deep relationships with distributors and affiliations with all the major networks, Sinclair Broadcast Group is well-positioned to help ensure the success of Marquee Sports Network.
We don’t yet have any details from the Cubs or Sinclair on how this channel will be carried on cable or satellite systems or what the cost will be to those systems, though there were other reports in January that the cost to the systems could be as much as $6 per month. That article also contains details on what that price could mean to you, the cable/satellite subscriber, as well as details on why the Cubs might have chosen Sinclair as a partner and other information about the Cubs and TV broadcasting, and I suggest you re-read that article now. There are other BCB articles on this topic here.
In the release, there was this statement from Sinclair President and CEO Chris Ripley: “This partnership brings together one of the most iconic sports franchises in the country with one of the largest television broadcasting companies. It is hard to imagine any content that is more unique and valuable than the live sports entertainment the Cubs have been delivering to their fans for more than a century. Sinclair’s strength in production, distribution and local sales will support bringing more content to more viewers, all while leveraging the latest technology.”
Crane Kenney also said in the release, “From preserving and enhancing Wrigley Field, to building Sloan Park and Gallagher Way, to expanding in-game programming and increasing our social media engagement, our fans are at the heart of everything we do. It’s time we deliver the comprehensive coverage and rich content they desire.”
Lastly, here’s what I wrote about Sinclair in an article here last month:
They have been controversial at times in the broadcast industry for their political views. I am not going to make any comment about that at this time. As per site policy, I would appreciate you keeping your views on Sinclair to yourself as well.