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Marquee Network booed at Cubs Convention

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Usually, there isn’t news made at the Convention. Friday night, there was.

Sara Sanchez

The Opening Ceremony of the Cubs Convention has been, in recent years, a love-fest. That was especially true after the Cubs won the World Series in 2016.

The Cubs fanbase has been somewhat discontented over the last couple of years, with an early postseason exit in 2018, an October-less season in 2019, and very little action to change the roster this offseason.

And those in attendance at the Cubs Convention Friday evening expressed their displeasure with one part of the Cubs experience. When team Chairman Tom Ricketts announced that the Marquee Sports Network would be carrying all the Cubs games in 2020, there was noticeable booing from the crowd [VIDEO].

Ricketts seemed puzzled. He noted that the channel will be carrying all kinds of Cubs content throughout the season. What wasn’t mentioned was the fact that the channel still doesn’t have carriage on Comcast/Xfinity systems in the Chicago metro area, which means that over half the market doesn’t yet have access to Marquee. It’s expected that a deal will be struck by Opening Day, but until it is... that doubt seeps in, the doubt that’s been seen for seven years in Los Angeles where SportsNet LA still cannot be seen in nearly 70 percent of Southern California.

Beyond that, I think it’s still not completely understood by management just how loyal the Cubs fanbase has been for so many years to WGN-TV and getting at least half of the games on free TV. Clearly, times change and this change has been in the works for at least five years. It will take time for Cubs fans to get accustomed to this new way of watching games. In the end, I think it’ll work out all right.

For now, though... the booing ought to let Cubs management know there’s still quite a bit of dissatisfaction in the ranks.

The rest of the Opening Ceremony was standard-issue, with Cubs radio play-by-play man Pat Hughes introducing Cubs past and present. At the end of the event, the team showed this video:

The video is an introduction to the team’s 2020 marketing slogan “Where Stories Play,” which has a movie motif. The most interesting thing I noted both about the video and this “movie poster” that was handed out to some fans at the convention:

... was that Kris Bryant was prominently featured in both of them.

Maybe KB is sticking around after all.

We’ll have more coverage of the Cubs Convention here all weekend. Sara Sanchez is covering the convention in person for BCB and will have reports posted here, and I will post an open discussion thread here at 9 a.m. CT Saturday, for you to talk about Convention-related events.