It’s time for the Chicago Cubs to make Marquee Network national

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports
Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports /

As the world of sports broadcasting seemingly changes by the hour, the Chicago Cubs are already planning to finally make their games available for those who have “cut the cord,” meaning that they no longer subscribe to a cable television provider.

Currently, the Cubs are only available on two streaming services: FuboTV and DirecTV. For the hundreds of thousands of Chicago Cubs fans who no longer have cable television and don’t subscribe to either of those streaming services, they have no way to watch the Cubs at home.

That’s because Major League Baseball blacks out in-market games on MLBTV, their streaming service. Only out-of-market games are available to watch, so fans are unable to watch both the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox.

In order to address this issue, the Cubs are planning to launch a direct-to-consumer streaming service in July. So what does that mean?

Though the specifics are to be determined (or perhaps just yet to be announced), fans will soon have the option to pay a yearly or monthly subscription to watch games on the Marquee Network app. They’ll likely be available on most smartphones, tablets, and streaming devices such as Apple TV or Roku without paying for any cable TV or streaming TV provider.

The Chicago Cubs are launching an in-market, direct-to-consumer streaming service in July. The team should make the network available nationally.

There’s one big issue: for now, Marquee Network will continue to only be available in market. So for the rest of the country that’s not in the Chicagoland area, they’ll have to continue to subscribe to MLBTV if they want to watch Chicago Cubs games.

Perhaps the Cubs are at the mercy of MLB, but the team would benefit tremendously by making Marquee Network and their direct-to-consumer service available nationwide.

For decades, the Cubs were nationally broadcast on WGN throughout the United States. This enabled the team to build a nationwide following across numerous generations. Fans from all over the country tuned in to watch the Cubs after getting home from school or work.

By making Marquee Network nationwide, the Cubs could build their fanbase and increase revenue as well as allow fans to watch 24-hour Cubs programming throughout the country.

One of the largest hot spots of Cubs fans is the state of Iowa, home to their Triple-A farm club, the Iowa Cubs.

There’s one problem: the Cubs aren’t even available on MLBTV in Iowa. MLBTV’s blackout restrictions prohibit the Cubs, White Sox, Cardinals, Royals, Twins, and Brewers from airing in the state.

Just search the zip code that their own Triple-A team plays in and you’ll find that the league doesn’t air Cubs games.

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By making Marquee available out-of-network, fans everywhere can watch the Cubs and programming anytime.

That is if Major League Baseball actually lets their fans watch their product.