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 onFebruary 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)
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 before Opening Day, more and more providers will be added to the 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.
As of right now, there are two streaming services that will carry the Marquee Sports Network:
AT&T TV Now (no longer listed as a provider)
Hulu Live (will have a delayed launch date)
There will also be a dedicated streaming app, but you must have a cable or streaming provider to log in.
AT&T TV Now
On Friday, 2/21 AT&T TV Now was listed as a provider for the Marquee Network. However, by Saturday 2/22 afternoon, the Marquee Network is not available on AT&T TV Now and has been taken off the Marquee website as a provider.
Here is some information about AT&T TV Now:
Streaming packages start at $65/month (woof) but don’t worry, that includes HBO and 45 other channels. Other packages are $93/month for 65+ channels and $110/month for 85+ channels.
AT&T TV Now has a Cloud DVR and allows for 3 streams (what does that mean?).
AT&T WatchTV is available on Amazon Fire products, iOS, Android, AppleTV, Chromecast, Samsung Smart TV…but NOT Roku (what?? say it ain’t so!!).
Bonus! If you sign up for a free trial of AT&T TV Now, you can earn a whooping $2.50 cash back from Rakuten (new subscribers only, of course).
Hulu Live is listed on the Marquee website as a provider, however, current customers are unable to find the channel in their lineup.
A Chicago Tribune article sheds a little bit of light on the situation. The launch of the Marquee Network on Hulu Live’s streaming service will be pushed back, maybe until Opening Day.
Also, this interaction on the Hulu Support’s Facebook page confirms the information from the Chicago Tribune. It would have been nice if there was more clear communication about this issue!
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.
It will be available on desktop, Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Android, iOS. It is available for download at www.watchmarquee.com
To be clear, you must have a cable or streaming package that includes the Marquee Network in order to access the content of this app.
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 will come around.
It looks like the Marquee Network has been playing hardball with cable as well as streaming providers. They still haven’t reached an agreement with Comcast one of the major cable companies servicing Chicago. But, Opening Day is still some time away.
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.
SO WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?!?
At this point, we don’t have many options. Since Hulu Live is the only streaming option but they haven’t launched the channel yet (and probably won’t until closer to Opening Day), we don’t have a conventional means of watching the Marquee Network.
We did download the Marquee Sports Network app on to our Roku, but it requires a provider log in to access the channel, and we don’t have that.
For now, the plan is to wait for Hulu Live to launch the channel.
But in the meantime, I’m going to contact YouTubeTV and
beg ask them to please reach a deal with the Marquee Sports Network. It’s just personal preference but I really really prefer YouTubeTV over the confusing interface of Hulu Live.
Any other questions? Please leave a comment, 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