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Cubs strike deal with Comcast for Marquee

@MLBastian
July 24, 2020

CHICAGO -- Many Cubs fans throughout Chicagoland have been waiting for the news that Marquee Sports Network would become available through Comcast. The team finally struck that much-anticipated deal on the morning of Opening Day. The Cubs announced Friday that they had reached a deal with Comcast (Xfinity) to carry

CHICAGO -- Many Cubs fans throughout Chicagoland have been waiting for the news that Marquee Sports Network would become available through Comcast. The team finally struck that much-anticipated deal on the morning of Opening Day.

The Cubs announced Friday that they had reached a deal with Comcast (Xfinity) to carry Marquee. The agreement will bring the team's new regional network to the Chicago area's largest cable provider, beginning with Friday night's game against the Brewers.

"Our goal with the launch of Marquee was to serve our fans with unparalleled Cubs content," Crane Kenney, the Cubs' president of business operations, said in a release. "And today’s agreement with Comcast means significantly more Cubs fans will have access to it."

Marquee will be available on channel 202 in the Chicago area, and the agreement also provides the network in Fort Wayne, Ind., and parts of the Indianapolis market served by Comcast. Channel information is available at marqueesportsnetwork.com.

The Cubs have now reached agreements with more than 40 providers (cable and streaming) to carry Marquee, with Dish Network and Youtube TV being the notable remaining exceptions.

"This agreement is monumental for us and the multitude of Chicagoans," Marquee Sports Network GM Mike McCarthy said in the release. "Thanks to an undying commitment from the Cubs, Sinclair and Comcast to get this deal done, fans in and around Chicago can tune in when the team opens the season."

Worth noting

• For his first official lineup, freshman Cubs manager David Ross started rookie Nico Hoerner at second base over Jason Kipnis, and made Victor Caratini the first Cubs’ designated hitter of the 2020 season. The rest of the batting order was as anticipated, given Ross' thoughts on the lineup in Spring Training and Summer Camp.

"That's my call. I get to make that decision now," Ross quipped about the lineup. "It's funny. I've never written nine names down before in my life."

• The Cubs signed 31-year-old outfielder Ryan LaMarre to a Minor League contract on Friday and assigned him to the team's alternate training site in South Bend, Ind. In parts of five seasons with the Twins, Reds, White Sox, A's and Red Sox, LaMarre has hit .236 with a .623 OPS. He has mostly played center and left field in the big leagues.

• The Cubs also assigned lefty Burl Carraway to the South Bend group. The 21-year-old Carraway was a second-round pick by the Cubs in this year's MLB Draft, after posting a 2.47 ERA with 89 strikeouts and 28 walks in 51 innings over the '19-20 seasons with Dallas Baptist.

Quotable

"I've been anxious, nervous, excited. Those little butterflies you get about Opening Day and that first day and what it looks like for real, well, here we go. We'll see how it takes shape. I'm excited. I've been looking forward to it. It's nice to put back on that jersey. It was cool to walk into my office and my locker and see the 'Ross 3' jersey hanging again. That was a little bit of chills down the spine for me. It was a really neat moment." -- Ross

Jordan Bastian covers the Cubs for MLB.com. He previously covered the Indians from 2011-18 and the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.