A regional sports network from the Chicago Cubs and Sinclair Broadcast Group is on the verge of its debut, as Marquee Sports Network will launch on Saturday.
The network goes on the air at 1pm CT with Marquee Debut, a show featuring a preview of future programming, a look at inside access to the team, and a tribute to the team’s previous broadcast partner, WGN. Hosted by Cole Wright, Ryan Dempster and others, the one-hour program serves as a run-up to the first live broadcast, the Cubs’ opening spring training game against the Oakland Athletics in Mesa, Arizona. Following the game Marquee Sports Network will air Marquee Sports Films Presents More Than Mr. Cub: The Life of Ernie Banks, a Cubumentary produced by MLB Network that includes new interviews, revisits the moments that made Ernie Banks a Hall of Famer, and examines the Cubs legend as a player and a man.
Saturday’s programming schedule is subject to change if weather forces a different start time for the Cubs’ spring training opener versus the Athletics.
“In Marquee Sports Network, Cubs fans are getting what they deserve, a network as dedicated to the team as they are,” said Mike McCarthy, general manager, Marquee Sports Network. “Right out of the box, viewers have the opportunity to get to know Marquee Sports Network with Marquee Debut, and then it’s on to baseball as we broadcast live the Cubs first spring training game. The game is followed by a documentary we are quite proud of on Ernie Banks; all in all our first day—and all our days—will offer robust programming for Cubs fans.”
During its first weekend, the network will also air Best of Cubs YouTube, a collection of the most viewed content and engaging features from the Cubs’ popular YouTube Channel; Cubs Countdown: All-Time Games, which will highlight and remember historic Cubs games as voted on by fans; Best of 2020 Cubs Convention,a recap of notable moments from this year’s fan event; Cubs 162, an all-access series that goes behind the scenes and documents the inner workings of the team, both on and off the field; and Cubs Legends: Kerry Wood “20,” an in-depth look at Kerry Wood’s epic 20 strikeout game.
Marquee Sports Network will feature 28 Cubs spring training games and at least 145 regular season games. The lineup of broadcasters at Marquee Sports Network includes current Cubs play-by-play announcer Len Kasper and color analyst Jim Deshaies; studio hosts Cole Wright from the NFL Network, and Taylor McGregor, former Colorado Rockies on-field reporter; former Cubs Mark Grace—who will be the guest analyst for Saturday’s game—Ryan Dempster, Mark DeRosa, Doug Glanville, Rick Sutcliffe, Dan Plesac and Carlos Peña; former Cubs manager Lou Piniella; Big Ten Network’s Elise Menaker; and the Emmy Award-winning Chris Myers.