You might think so because Marquee talks about being the “exclusive” home of Cubs baseball, but of course not. MLB’s national TV partners get to cherry-pick games, taking them away from Marquee. For now, ESPN has two games slotted for “Sunday Night Baseball” — Aug. 9 and Sept. 6 — both versus the Cardinals. FOX-32 has a pair of games. Games could be added in September, if events warrant.
Are the Cubs games not on FOX-32 and ESPN’s ‘Sunday Night Baseball’ only on Marquee?
Again, no. The Cubs’ six games against the Chicago White Sox are on NBC Sports Chicago, too, obviously. It’s also notable Cubs games on FS1 are not blacked out locally, even though they’re televised on Marquee as well. If TBS picks up Cubs games, it’s allowed to lift the blackout once this season and run opposite Marquee’s coverage.
about fans who live outside the Cubs’ TV market?
Major League Baseball has given the Cubs a very large TV market, cutting a huge swath over multiple states. But if you’re outside that area, you’ll still go through MLB’s subscription services if you want to see Cubs games not on local TV or national outlets, the same as you have in recent years.
What about fans who don’t subscribe to cable, satellite or streaming services and rely on an antenna for free, over-the-air broadcast TV?
You’re only getting the games that are on FOX-32. But that’s just the way it is these days. Unless a broadcaster tied to a national deal with a league picks up a game, you’re not going to see the White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks either — they’re putting the games they control on NBC Sports Chicago.
Is every cable, satellite and streaming service in the Cubs’ TV market offering Marquee?
Comcast, which serves roughly half the homes in the Cubs’ TV market, came to terms on a carriage agreement on opening day. Not every service has. The biggest holdouts are Dish Network (with Sling TV), which just doesn’t want to deal with regional sports networks’ business model, and Google’s YouTube TV.
On what channel will I find Marquee?
Depends on your carrier. Comcast in the Chicago area has it on Ch. 202 in high definition and Ch. 58 in standard definition. The channel location for many other services can be found here. A complete list should be available here.
Does Marquee have an app?
Of course it does. As long as you can prove you are paying someone for access to Marquee, you also can stream games on Marquee’s website here.
Len and J.D. still calling the games?
Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies are in fact back as primary announcers. They’ll be calling games from Wrigley Field whether the Cubs are playing there or not. Marquee announced a bunch of guest analysts earlier this year, and it remains to be seen how many will be needed and how they’ll be used. Mark Grace made a remote appearance on a July exhibition against the Twins from his kitchen with a Gold Glove trophy behind him on the counter.
How about in-game reporter Kelly Crull?
Marquee did not hire Crull, who is now part of a Braves TV team that includes Chip Caray. Instead it brought in Taylor McGregor from Denver to be its primary reporter. It was mentioned during a Cubs-Sox exhibition that even though Kasper and Deshaies will be anchored at Wrigley, McGregor will travel with the team.
What’s the deal with the fake crowd noise?
MLB has video-game fan sounds piped into all ballparks. Fox has said it will create the illusion of fans in the stands, which will be more of an illusion in some ballparks than others, especially late in games.
Who’s hosting pregame and postgame on Marquee?
The lead studio host on Marquee is Cole Wright, formerly of ESPN and NFL Network.
Anything else you want to add?
You still can get word pictures for free from Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer with the radio call on WSCR-AM 670.