Starting with the 2020 season, the Marquee Sports Network will be home to the Chicago Cubs. The Marquee Sports Network launches on February 22, 2020. It will “feature every spring training game, extensive pre and postgame coverage, exclusive Cubs content and other local sports programming.” – according to their website.
They will be broadcasting all of the Cubs games, except those selected as national broadcast games.
How do I get the Marquee Sports Network?
Marquee Sports Network will be offered in cable packages from the following providers:
Charter Communications (Spectrum)
Mediacom Communications (outside the Chicagoland area)
That’s a pretty short list. The Marquee Sports Network is actively asking Cubs fan to petition their cable and streaming providers to add the Marquee Network to their lineup. I believe that in the next few weeks, more and more providers will be added to this list.
How can I stream the Marquee Sports Network without cable?
Cubs games will no longer be broadcast on WGN. You will not be able to watch Cubs games with an antenna. Nationally broadcast Cubs games will be on either FOX or ESPN (FOX games can be watched with an antenna, there are only 4 this season). Here is the National Broadcast Schedule. All other Cubs games will be on the Marquee Sports Network.
Per their website: Marquee Sports Network “will be incorporating a digital platform to ensure all Cubs fans will be able to view the games they love across all formats; the particular details will be announced at a later date.”
Does this mean they will be providing their own streaming service? Maybe. Should we wait for this to launch and not look into other ways to watch Cubs games? Absolutely not.
As of right now, there is only one streaming service that will carry the Marquee Sports Network: AT&T TV Now
AT&T TV Now streaming packages start at $65/month (woof) but don’t worry, that includes HBO and 45 other channels. The Marquee Network isn’t listed as an available channel right now. It probably won’t show up on the list until launch day. AT&T TV Now is listed as a provider on Marquee’s website.
Super Bowl LIII will be on Sunday, February 3rd at 5:30pm (CST) broadcast on CBS. To stream the Super Bowl, you will need access to CBS.
Note: this page contains affiliate links. That means if you buy something using one of the links, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. They help pay for my Netflix.
CBS on your streaming service
If you already subscribe to a Live TV Streaming Service (and watch sports) there’s a good chance that CBS is in your channel lineup. Assuming that you already subscribe to one of these services, this is going to be your most convenient and easiest option.
Even if you don’t already subscribe to one of these services, they all also have a 7 day Free Trial (Playstation Vue is 5 days). Here is a list of the Live TV Streaming Services that carry CBS:
DIRECTV Now (all packages)
Playstation Vue (all packages)
If you aren’t already a subscriber. These services are all available on all major methods of streaming. Except YouTube TV (which is our favorite sports streaming service) isn’t available on Amazon products. If you don’t have a streaming device, pick up a Roku Streaming Stick +
CBS All Access is a paid monthly subscription that gives you access (hah) to some CBS programming. In the past, it has not included Live sports games. However, this FAQ now states that CBS All Acccess includes, “NFL on CBS, including pregame and halftime coverage, LIVE.”
The CBS All Access app is available on virtually all major streaming devices (including Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire Stick)
OR you can add CBS All Access to your Amazon Prime account and watch in the Prime Video app on your streaming device.
CBS All Access subscription levels:
Both of these options come with a 7 day free trial. “Verified” college or university students can get 25% off the Limited Commercials plan (so $4.50/month).
CBS Sports App
On the CBS website, it states that the Super Bowl will be available for live streaming on the CBS Sports app, which is compatible with Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast.
When I searched on my Roku for “CBS Sports”, several apps were available. The top ones were CBS All Access and CBS Sports Stream & Watch Live. When I launched the CBS Sports Stream & Watch Live, it showed the logo for CBS Sports HQ. This is a free, 24 hour streaming sports news network.
Usually, live sports are not included in programming for CBS Sports HQ. We will see what the Super Bowl brings. If you are unable to find “CBS Sports” on your phone, tablet or streaming device, and can only find CBS Sports HQ or CBS Sports Stream & Watch Live, make sure you have a backup plan for your Super Bowl party!
CBSSports.com says that live streaming of the Super Bowl will be available on their website. I haven’t been able to find any other information. Luckily, there are lots of other options in case this one doesn’t work!
You can access CBSSports.com on your computer. For other devices (phones or streaming devices like Roku and Amazon Fire Stick), you’re probably better off downloading an app).
Set up an antenna
If you like sports, you’re probably going to want an antenna anyway! You can read all I have to say about antennas here.
CBS is one of the television stations that broadcasts Over The Air (OTA) channels. You can get CBS using a traditional antenna (monstrosity that is mounted on your roof) or using an indoor, digital, HD antenna.
Using an antenna, you will actually get better picture quality than from your cable provider. That’s cool, right?
In the Chicago area (where I live) CBS has a very low strength signal when compared to other stations (like NBC, ABC and FOX). If you are in the Chicago area, I highly recommend getting an antenna with a 50-60 mile radius to compensate for CBS’s low strength signal.
If you are in another area of the country, you can use this website to determine how far away station towers are and what strength antenna you need.
Indoor antennas aren’t expensive. This is one of our favorites:
This is a 50 mile radius antenna. It needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet and connected to your TV with a coxial cable (included). You will need to mount it on a window or a wall, preferably in the direction of your local television towers. The ClearStream Eclipse is black on one side and white on the other, you can choose which side you want showing. It is also paintable, you can paint it to match the color of your wall!
Here are your best bets for watching the Super Bowl without cable:
An antenna (but no recording, pausing or rewinding)
CBS on your streaming service (on your Smart TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV or Apple TV)
Use one that you already subscribe to or sign up for a free trial
Hallmark Movies are long tradition for many families during the holiday season. Giving up cable doesn’t mean giving up Hallmark Christmas movies! You have a few options for watching Hallmark Movies without cable.
Hallmark Channel Everywhere App
Hallmark has an app available on most streaming devices. However, you must log in with a cable provider in order to watch any of their content. By logging in, they also check to see if Hallmark Channels are part of your cable channel line up.
Hallmark Movies Now
This is Hallmark’s streaming service. It costs $6 per month after a 7 day free trial. You can also opt to pay $60 annually ($5 per month).
If you only want to have the Hallmark Channel during the holiday season, this is a pretty good deal. With the free trial, you get 5 weeks of Hallmark Movies for $6!
This is not a live TV service. It provides On Demand movie watching. This service does NOT have all of Hallmark’s movies. Here is a list of all their movies: Hallmark Movies Now
Live TV Streaming Services
Subscribing to a Live TV Streaming Service is another option for streaming Hallmark Movies. Live TV Streaming Services provide a cable-like TV watching as well as On Demand options. Most (but not all) also offer cloud DVR, so you can record live TV shows and movies. Visit our page on Live TV Streaming Services to learn more.
The Live TV Streaming Services that carry the Hallmark Channel are:
AT&T Watch TV ($15/month or free if you have certain cell phone plans)
Unlimited DVR, you can save as many shows as you want for up to 30 days
Philo app is available on Roku, Amazon Fire Stick and AppleTV (to name the most popular)
Yes, AT&T Watch TV is $1 cheaper. But they don’t have an app for Roku (they do have apps for Amazon Fire Stick and AppleTV) and they only allow one stream at a time. However, if you are already getting this service for free because of your cell phone plan, you might as well take advantage of it!
What about Hallmark Movies for FREE?
Another option that is a little more complicated (but free!) is to hop around on different free trials. Most of these streaming services offer a 7 day free trial (Playstation Vue has a 5 day free trial). Assuming you have not yet taken advantage of any of these free trials, you can get up to almost 7 FREE WEEKS of TV.
The Catch: You have to remember to cancel your free trial, otherwise you will automatically be billed for an entire month of service.
Enjoy and Happy Holidays!
If getting rid of cable is one of your New Year’s Resolutions, I hope we can help! Jump on over to our First Things First page to see how to get started. Also, please consider joining our Facebook Group Living the Stream – Help Desk. You can ask questions about streaming TV and get answers from myself or other members.
A steaming device is a must-have for cord cutters. This is a great gift for someone who would like to try streaming TV, but maybe isn’t sure if they want to get rid of cable yet. The Roku Streaming Stick + offesr 4K definition and access to the entire library of Roku apps.
We typically recommend a Roku Streaming Stick for your 2nd or 3rd (etc) TV and a Roku Ultra for your main TV. But if someone is just starting out streaming, this is a great place to start. For more information and device comparisons, see our streaming devices page.
Every cord cutters needs an antenna. This antenna is mounted inside the house and attaches to a wall or window. It’s the best way to get local news, weather and sports (read more about antennas). We really love the Clearstream Eclipse Indoor HDTV Antenna
This silicon cover for a Roku remote would make a great stocking stuffer! It’s not a necessity for a Roku remote, but it is a fun gift. There are lots of different colors available. If someone has more than one Roku remote in their house, it is a great way to differentiate between remotes for different rooms.
When you cancel cable, you might also cancel your home phone service. I like to have a home phone for emergencies. Magic Jack gives you home phone service through your internet for a low yearly rate. If you don’t already have one, grab phone too.
Give the gift of Alexa. An Echo Dot can be paired with Amazon Fire devices for hands free control of your TV. I love using our Echo Dot in the kitchen, she sets timers, adds items to my grocery list (or my Costco list, or my Target list!), I also listen to music, audiobooks and podcasts. I use a wall mount (no tools necessary) to keep it off my counter and out of the way.
Amazon Prime subscription – chances are, your Cord Cutter may already have a Prime subscription. Besides free 2 day shipping, they will also have access to Prime Video. Even if they already have a Prime membership, your gift will add on to their existing account. You can purchase a 3 month or 12 month membership.
Google WiFi system
The Google WiFi system replaces your current router, it works with your modem and internet connection to boost the WiFi signal to every part of your house. This is ideal for people who live in larger homes, or older homes that may have thicker walls. You can buy a single router or a triple pack for maximum coverage. There is an app that connects to Google WiFi and also has parental controls! Add a stocking stuffer wall mount, to keep these little devices out of the way.
(Not sure what the difference is between a modem and a router? I didn’t either for a long time! Visit our Modems and Routers page for the basics).
Most streaming player remotes only control the streaming player, they don’t control the TV power and volume. Sideclick Remotes attach to the side of your streaming player remote and give you control of your TV, all in one remote! These are a great little invention and will make your life way easier! You will need to choose a Sideclick Remote that corresponds with your streaming player.
Give the gift of Philo! Philo is our favorite skinny stream. It has a limited number of channels but is the least expensive streaming service. Right now, you can buy a gift card for $99 which covers 6 months of Philo! This is for their $20/month streaming service, it works out to just $16.50 per month. That saves you $20!
If your Cord Cutter likes to travel, a Roku Express is great to take on the road. It’s the smallest of the Rokus and the one my family brings with us when we travel.
Roku Express carrying case
This is another great gift for someone who likes to travel. This little carrying case is made for the Roku Express. It helps protect the streaming player in your luggage and keeps the remote, streaming device and cords all in one piece!
TCL TVs are Roku Smart TVs. These are the only kind of Smart TVs that I recommend for anyone getting rid of cable. Not only are they great quality TVs but they also have built in Roku technology, which means you don’t need a separate streaming player to watch TV. If you need a new TV and are committed to streaming TV, this is the one to get.
Tablo DVR is perfect for a dedicated cord cutter who loves to watch TV using an antenna. Tablo connects the antenna to a whole home DVR system. It can connect with up to 6 devices and can live stream or record 4 streams at once. For the best experience, external memory storage is recommended.
The Harmony Remote is the ultimate gift for someone who loves gadgets. The Harmony remote can connect with up to 15 devices, TVs, streaming players, Ring doorbell, video game consoles, Nest Thermostat, DVR, DVD players, Phillips hue lights, Amazon’s Alexa and more. It has a touchscreen that makes it easy to customize. There is also an app for your smart phone or tablet. If the person on your gift giving list wants to move towards a Smart Home, this is the remote to get.
Replay every game from the season with NFL Game Pass. They have full broadcast replays, games condensed to 45 minutes and coaches film (shows all 22 players on the field).
Notice that it says replay. This is not for live games.
7 day free trial
One payment of $99 OR
Four payments of $29.99
NFL Sunday Ticket
This is only available to DIRECTV Customers OR non-DIRECTV customers who live in select multi-dwelling buildings where DIRECTV is not available.
College students – check and see if you are eligible for NFLSundayTicketTV U
NFL Sunday Ticket is available for out of market games only.
Understanding Blackouts and Out of Market Games
Sports blackouts come into play when a game is broadcast on a regional sports network.
Out of Market Games
Out of market games are games in which neither team playing is from your local area. For example, if you live in Chicago and are trying to watch a Miami Dolphins vs. San Francisco 49ers game.
This means that, if you live outside the area local to your favorite team, you may not be able to see the game. If you live near Indianapolis but want to watch a Chicago Bears game, you might not be able to view the Bears game, as you are outside the regional network.
Sometimes a game may be blacked out on a regional channel if it is being broadcast on a national network. Channels like ESPN or TNT may have exclusive rights to a game, so the game will not be broadcast on other channels.
Also, some professional sports choose to blackout games if a certain percentage of tickets to the game hasn’t sold. They want to “encourage” fans to attend the game instead of watching at home. (I think this just pisses fans off instead of encouraging them to do anything).
College sports are going to be the biggest issue with location based blackouts.
Some channels or events can be blacked out on streaming devices or streaming through mobile devices. Most streaming companies will reference this, but there are few concrete examples given on their websites.
We watch a lot of sports at my house and haven’t run into this problem. However, we live in a local area to (most) of the teams we watch. Also, we don’t watch Pay Per View events or (many) boxing events.
According to DIRECTV Now’s FAQs, NFL games cannnot be streamed on mobile devices.
Here are links for different streaming companies and how they address blackouts. It’s important to realize that streaming companies don’t have control over blackouts. If it was up to them, they would give you all the content all the time.
SkyStream TV claims that it doesn’t have sports blackouts EVER.
If you want to learn about watching ALL THE SPORTS, I’ve got you covered.
Hopefully I’ve convinced you that watching football without cable is totally doable and you’re ready to cut the cord! Head on over to Living the Stream for our step by step guide to getting rid of cable.
If you want more help, check out my Services page. I can create a personalized streaming plan for you or we can have a one on one consultation to talk through all your options.