updated July 24, 2020, 10:15am
Cubs baseball is back on July 24th!!
We couldn’t be more excited! (Well, no that’s not true. We would be way more excited if it was safe for us to load the kids up, take the Red Line down to Wrigley and enjoy a game at the Friendly Confines). But this is second best news!
Now that the Cubs are back on the schedule, how are we going to watch games? What is the Marquee Sports Network? How do we get it with cable? Can we stream it? Are there any other options? Please let us watch some Cubbies baseball!
Here is a link to the Cubs 60 game schedule for 2020
What is the Marquee Sports Network?
Starting with the 2020 season, the Marquee Sports Network will be home to the Chicago Cubs. The Marquee Sports Network launched 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.
To be clear, this is a regional sports network, not a national sports network. The Marquee Network will be available to the Chicagoland area as well as select markets in Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Minnesota.
How do I get the Marquee Sports Network?
Marquee Sports Network has greatly expanded their list of providers since December. Here are a few of the major cable providers in the Chicago area that will carry the channel:
- AT&T Uverse (channel 740)
- DIRECTV (channel 664)
- WOW (channel 271)
- RCN (channel 679)
- Comcast/Xfinity (channel 202)
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). Here is the National Broadcast Schedule (this is currently empty but hopefully information will be posted here eventually). All other Cubs games will be on the Marquee Sports Network.
As of right now, Hulu Live is the only streaming service that includes the Marquee Sports Network.
There is a dedicated streaming app and you can stream from their website, but you must have a cable or streaming provider to log in.
Hulu Live‘s streaming package is $55/month. This includes 60+ live channels and the entire Hulu On Demand catalog.
Note: you will not be able to get live sports (or any sports really) on the $6/month (regular) plan. The Marquee Network is only available with the Live TV Hulu subscription.
Hulu Live has a Cloud DVR with 50 hours of recording time and allows for 2 streams (what does that mean?).
Hulu Live also has an option for $61/month for Hulu no ads + Live TV. This means that any On Demand content through Hulu will have no ads. Live TV will still have commercials. There are several add-ons you can chose, such as Enhanced DVR, Unlimited Screens and premium channels. Each of these carries an additional monthly fee.
Hulu Live is available on Roku (yay!), Amazon Fire products, AppleTV, Chromecast, among others. You can find the full list here.
Bonus! If you sign up for Hulu Live now and use Rakuten, you get $5 off your first month. New subscribers only (of course).
Marquee Sports Network App and TV Everywhere
Fans living within the Chicago Cubs broadcast territory will be able to stream all Marquee Network programming and live Cubs games on the Marquee Network App. Access to the app is free but will require a cable or streaming provider log in.
To further clarify, you must have a cable or streaming package that includes the Marquee Network in order to access live content on this app.
It will be available on desktop, Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Android, iOS. It is available for download at www.watchmarquee.com
Will more streaming services pick up the Marquee Network?
There is really no way to know. On the plus side, the Cubs are a very popular team in one of the major markets. We can hold out hope that other streaming services like YouTubeTV and FuboTV that focus on sports will come around.
It looks like the Marquee Network has been playing hardball with cable as well as streaming providers. At the last minute, they finally reached an agreement with Comcast/Xfinity.
I don’t live near Chicago, how can I watch Cubs games?
This isn’t an option for fans in the Chicago area because of blackouts.
We currently subscribe to YouTubeTV and have been very happy with them. They were $50/month but recently announced they would raise their rates to $65/month as of August 29th. We were willing to stick it out with them despite the massive rate hike IF they got the Marquee Network. As of July 24, they haven’t. So we canceled our YTTV subscription.
I subscribed to Hulu Live this morning. My major gripe with Hulu Live is the interface is very confusing. They have tried to create a “cool” looking app instead of one that is user friendly. Maybe I need to explore further. Maybe there are ways to customize or change the way things look. I’ll have to adapt and overcome because this is the only streaming service with the Cubbies!
But in the meantime, I’m going to contact YouTubeTV and
beg ask them to please reach a deal with the Marquee Sports Network.
Any other questions? Please send me an email or ask it in our Facebook group, Living the Stream – Help Desk.
Edit: Looks like the best way to contact YouTubeTV is via Twitter: @YouTubeTV