Chicago Cubs: Five storylines to watch in the 2020s

David Ross, Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer / Chicago Cubs (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
David Ross, Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer / Chicago Cubs (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Will the new TV channel catch on?

As we begin a new decade, the Chicago Cubs are launching the Marquee Sports Network, which will broadcast most of the Cubs games and also offer plenty of other Cubs-related programming. Many fans are lamenting the fact that Chicago Cubs games will no longer be on WGN starting in 2020. I am among those who became a Cubs fan largely because of their national exposure on WGN back in the 1990s.

Yet the process for getting to this point has been in motion for many years now, and frankly, I’m surprised that it didn’t happen sooner than it has. For about two decades now, WGN has only been carrying some of the Cubs’ games, as the rest have been on other regional sports networks such as NBC Sports Chicago. WGN also stopped carrying games nationally on what is now WGN America five years ago (though out-of-market fans such as myself can watch games live on MLB.TV).

So, it’s been a gradual process, but the Cubs are following the trend of more compartmentalized sports coverage and finally launching their own network in February. There’s plenty of reason to believe that the endeavor will be a successful one, though as of now there are still some providers that are not yet carrying the channel, including Comcast.

As we know, the Cubs have not done much to improve the team so far this offseason, so how much success the channel has in its first year will depend largely on how good the team is. You’d think that the front office would want to do more than they have to field a competitive team with such a big project on the horizon; perhaps revenue from the new channel will help the team be able to make more moves to improve the roster long-term.