Sinclair teams with Chicago Cubs to create new cable channel

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The Chicago Cubs are teaming with Sinclair Broadcast Group to launch a regional sports network that will hold exclusive broadcast rights for the team beginning in 2020.

The Chicago Tribune reported that the Marquee Sports Network would carry the Cubs’ full regular season schedule, pregame and postgame coverage and other local sports programming.

Cubs games currently air across multiple networks in the Chicago area: WGN, NBC Sports Chicago and local ABC affiliate WLS.

{mosads}The Cubs, who finally broke through in 2016 to capture the team’s first World Series in 108 years, have reworked their broadcast rights in recent years.

The team ended its deal in 2014 to air games on WGN America, a national platform that helped attract a broad nationwide following. The Cubs signed five-year deals in 2014 with WGN and WLS with the plan of launching a regional sports network when the contract expired, the Tribune reported.

Tribune Media last year backed out of a proposed $3.9 billion merger with Sinclair Broadcast Group amid scrutiny from lawmakers and federal regulators. The move came a month after the Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to subject the merger to an administrative law proceeding, a taxing and time-consuming process that was expected to kill the deal.

Tribune Media owned the Chicago Cubs from 1981 until 2009, when it sold the majority stake in the team to the Ricketts family.

Tags Chicago Cubs Sinclair WGN

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