Cubs: Marquee Network’s declining ratings comes at an interesting time

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

Remember when Cubs owner Tom Ricketts promised fans at Cubs Convention back in 2019 that, in a year’s time, no one would be booing Marquee Network. Obviously, no one could have foresaw what 2020 brought, but it’s also safe to say things haven’t gone according to plan for the TV home of the North Siders, either.

As Cubs flounder in standings, viewership on Marquee plummets

According to the Chicago Tribune, Marquee Sports Network has experienced a dramatic decline in viewership since the network launched in 2020. It shows viewership went down to an average rating of 1.57 for the 2022 season, a 25 percent decrease from the year prior. It is also similar to the 1.50 rating they had in 2014, a 100-loss season. While this does not necessarily represent a financial loss for the club, it’s certainly not something you want to read.

"“Our ratings have declined with the team’s performance,” Crane Kenney said. “We know that they’ll go back up when the team starts to compete a little more.”"

After the 2020 season was shortened and played in empty ballparks, ownership preached of ‘biblical losses’ heading into the offseason in what felt like an excuse for the Cubs to both sit on the sidelines in free agency and fail to extend any member of the core.

Following a brutal and emotional 2021 season, Cubs fans were told the team would be big spenders in one of the most historic free agent classes in history – only to be interrupted by a work stoppage that brought the sport to its knees for months.

Now I am not one to be pessimistic, but this report comes out at a very interesting time. The Cubs had another disappointing season and are about to embark on yet another offseason when they are widely expected to be big spenders  in another solid free agent class.

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It is not far-fetched to think the timing of this report coincides with the financial expectations being laid out. Cubs fans have felt bamboozled before by things being said, so it’s hard to not put our guard up when news like this drops right before the offseason gets going.