The Chicago Cubs are launching their own television network, beginning in 2020, partnering with Sinclair Broadcasting to create Marquee Sports Network.
"We are excited to better serve our fans with expanded and exclusive programming showcasing our remarkable players, beloved ballpark and storied past," said Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney. "Our dedicated 'Cubs-centric' network will carry all available Cubs games and feature uncompromising, in-depth and behind-the-scenes coverage."
The affiliation ends a partnership with WGN-TV that has spanned 70 years. WGN was seen in homes around the country as cable TV expanded, producing Cubs fans from coast to coast.
Over the past five seasons, Cubs games have been split between WGN-TV, NBCSportsChicago and the local ABC affiliate, WLS-TV. Now all games and programming will air on the Cubs' own network.
"This partnership brings together one of the most iconic sports franchises in the country with one of the largest television broadcasting companies," said Sinclair's president and CEO Chris Ripley. "It is hard to imagine any content that is more unique and valuable than the live sports entertainment the Cubs have been delivering to their fans for more than a century. Sinclair's strength in production, distribution and local sales will support bringing more content to more viewers, all while leveraging the latest technology."
The network could add a winter sport, such as college basketball, to its programming lineup, according to sources familiar with the deal.