Published on Saturday, 20 November 2010 09:55
The Chicago Bears were not the only ones winning big on Thursday night. WGN-TV was also a big ratings winner, thanks to the Chicago Bears game being broadcast on their station this one time.
In early June, Tribune Broadcasting made an agreement with the NFL Network to air simulcasts of six of the cable/satellite-only network's Thursday Night Football games. All six of these games have teams from markets where Tribune Broadcasting owns television stations, which will show the games on the market's local airwaves for homes who cannot receive the NFL Network. The first game of that local broadcast rights agreement aired this past Thursday night on WGN-TV. Chicago's WGN-TV postponed their regular airing of CW Network programming and instead aired the live NFL Network feed of the Chicago Bears/Miami Dolphins match-up.
As to be expected, WGN-TV's airing of the game brought in the highest ratings for prime time television viewing in the Chicago market, according to Nielsen overnight ratings. The NFL Network game on WGN-TV brought in an average household rating of 26.2. That means approximately over 915,000 homes in the Chicagoland market had their televisions tuned into WGN-TV's simulcast.
The 26.2 rating is also the highest rating achieved for any NFL Network game simulcast on Chicago TV in the four seasons these games have been played. The past three years, the NFL Network local simulcasts of Chicago Bears games were shown on WPWR-TV.
This was only the second time in WGN-TV's long history that it ever aired a regular season Chicago Bears game. (The first time occurred on October 21, 1973.) This also marks the first time that a local Chicago station aired all five major Chicago sports franchises in the same year. In 2010, WGN-TV has broadcast games for the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Chicago Bulls, and as of Thursday night, the Chicago Bears.
UPDATE 11/22/10: The historical information in the paragraph above has been corrected.