Chicago Cubs: Will the new network show marquee matchups?
Since we know there won’t be another major sports team (Sorry, USL Fans, all 17 of you don’t really qualify) sharing the Marquee Network with the Cubs, one has to surmise the organization is going to be creating an awful lot of unique and creative original programming to fill the airwaves on this network (I’m available for a big bag of dill pickle seeds, watermelon Big League Chew and the newest Maddonism shirt for 2019- hit me up, Tom, Theo, Crane, Len, or JD).
You can’t just show infomercials all day and night and expect fans to flock to and buy your network or the service that is providing it.
Sure, there are roughly 162 games a year that will always need pre and post-game interviews, news conferences, and then shows to break down everything Jason Heyward is doing wrong with his swing and why Tyler Chatwood can’t throw a strike. However, the network wouldn’t be broadcasting all of those games because ESPN and Fox would also carry a decent amount of games (usually around 10 over the course of the season), and there’s also the possibility that the Cubs would allow someone else (cough, cough, WGN and WLS) to broadcast some games as well, as has been done in the recent past (and, not to mention, WGN has broadcast Cubs’ games for the last 72 years in Chicago and beyond).
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That takes care of about half of your days during the year. Add in Spring Training and hopefully some postseason games, and you could be looking at around 200 days of Cubs’ baseball that would need to be aired or, at the very least, discussed and rehashed.
So, what happens the other half of the year? Nobody needs any more FlexSeal. Maybe die-hard fans want to watch some archived and historical games? While this is a great feature and possibility, there are only so many fans who will watch full games from 1969 or 1984.
Is the network going to be available online or will it be through a cable provider? Will Marquee have an app you can use with Apple TV, FireStick, Roku, etc.? These questions remain a mystery, and until someone in the organization provides some answers about plans for 2020’s broadcasting schedule and programming for Marquee, fans will be as anxious as they are right now waiting for the Cubs to do anything to stay with the pack in the N.L. Central.