Cubs games now available direct-to-consumer as Marquee revamps app


Revamped app launched Tuesday 

As their subsidiary Diamond Sports Group struggles to pay MLB teams and saw two of them fly the coop, things are faring much better for Sinclair in Chicago. 

Marquee Sports Network – the joint venture between the Maryland-based broadcaster and the Chicago Cubs announced Tuesday a new, direct-to-consumer service to stream games for fans in the Chicago area who are cord-cutters, i.e. no longer or never have subscribed to cable TV.

Priced at $19.99 a month (for now), the service streams Cubs games live and other original programming Marquee offers. The app also provides exclusive Cubs content, other local sports content (such as Sky games), on-demand Cubs highlights, player interviews, pre and post game shows, and off-season content, such as Cubs convention coverage and spring training games. Viewers can watch online at or download the Marquee app. 

Subscribers who have a cable, DirecTV, or virtual multichannel video programming distributor (vMVPD) who carries Marquee can also watch Cubs games at no additional cost as they can use their log-in credentials for access. The app is available through iOs (Apple), Android, Apple TV, Roku, and coming soon, Amazon Fire devices. The Marquee app won’t be available for download for Smart TV users, but viewers can screencast games on sets using their phone, tablet, or web browsers. 

Fans will also experience a better visual presentation, as games are now being streamed in 1080p Full HD, an upgrade from the previous 720p resolution.

“We’re thrilled to launch our new direct-to-consumer subscription option, providing all in-market Cubs fans with access to Marquee Sports Network, including live Cubs games,” said Marquee Sports Network general manager Mike McCarthy. “The new Marquee Sports Network App will also provide an improved 1080p streaming experience for all Marquee Sports Network subscribers. We look forward to continuing to bring Cubs baseball to the passionate Cubs fans across the region.”

The $19.99 price point is on par with recent offerings made by MLB for viewers to stream San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks games, as the league reclaimed those rights from bankrupt Bally Sports after parent company Diamond failed to make payments to each team. Unlike those two teams however, streaming games through Marquee are only for those within the Cubs’ viewing area defined by MLB, which includes Illinois (excluding the southwest portion of the state), and most of Indiana and Iowa. Out-of-area Cub fans can subscribe to to watch games.

The New York Yankees offers a direct-to-consumer streaming option through YES for $24.99 a month and the Boston Red Sox also offers the same option, but for $29.99 a month. Five Bally Sports RSNs also have streaming rights to MLB games also as standalone options. 

Even though Bally and Marquee share the same graphics package, Diamond is not involved in the Cubs’ regional sports network. In fact, Diamond is now suing parent company Sinclair over ‘alleged misconduct’ as the former is mired in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. 



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