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While Cubs prepare to launch Marquee, Hawks, Bulls and Sox return to NBCSCH

With the Cubs heading out on their own to start a new network, the Blackhawks, Bulls and White Sox will return to NBC Sports Chicago next year, a source confirmed to the Sun-Times.

The Cubs will operate their own regional sports network, to be called Marquee, with Sinclair Broadcast Group. Next season will be their last with NBCSCH.

The network’s contract with the teams ends in October 2019. NBCSCH, previously called Comcast SportsNet Chicago, has had broadcast rights to all four teams since 2004.

It’s unclear how many games the Cubs will carry on their network. Many still will be available nationally on Fox and ESPN, the broadcast partners for Major League Baseball.

The Blackhawks, Bulls and White Sox have had a longstanding TV relationship. Bulls and Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and Hawks chairman Rocky Wirtz also co-own the United Center.

Bruce Levine of WSCR-AM (670) first reported that the three teams would return to the network.