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Chicago Bulls 1st Round Of Playoffs Broadcast Schedule Set

The Chicago Bulls, who just finished the the regular NBA Season with the best record in the entire league (62-20), will begin the first round of the NBA Championship playoffs this weekend. Dates for all seven games in the best-of-seven series have been set, as have the radio and television broadcast outlets.

Comcast SportsNet Chicago will show all seven playoff games on local television, using their exclusive local broadcast team. However, with the exciting Chicago Bulls being the hottest team in all of basketball right now, the national outlets want these games, as well. At least five of the potential seven games, including the guaranteed first four games, will also be shown on national television, using national announcers. ESPN and NBA TV will each show one game, while TNT will show three others. Two others are possible pick-ups for national broadcast, which will be determined at a later date, assuming those games (#5 & #6) are even needed.

Comcast SportsNet Chicago, of which, the Chicago Bulls organization are 20% owners, will have expanded coverage of all the games, all broadcast in HD. The network will broadcast exclusive pregame and postgame shows, hosted by Mark Schanowski and Kendall Gill. Postgame shows will include live locker room interviews, head coach Tom Thibodeau's post-game press conferences, detailed analysis, and more.

For this series, CSN's regular Bulls game announcers remain in place, as Neil Funk will do play-by-play and former Bull Stacey King will add color analysis. As mentioned here in February, former Bulls legend Scottie Pippen will also join the broadcast team for this first round of playoff action, adding additional expert commentary. Gail Fischer will provide in-stadium reports throughout the first round.

Also, throughout the playoffs, Comcast SportsNet's website, CSNChicago.com, will provide fans with even more exclusive Bulls/NBA Playoffs content including:
- Live streaming of every Bulls postgame press conference
- Bulls In Game Live: Real-time, live game data, as well as Twitter feeds from CSN Bulls reporters, live in-game chat sessions, headlines, NBA Playoffs scoreboard, and photos
- CSN's Bulls "Insider" Aggrey Sam's video reports
- Game highlights following every game
- Behind-the-scenes video from practice, shoot-around's, postgame, etc.
- "Beyond the Arc" and "Running with the Bulls" blogs

This comes after Comcast SportsNet revealed record ratings from Chicago Bulls broadcasts this season. According to Nielsen ratings, the Chicago sports channel had a 4.50 household season average rating (approx. 157,617 households watching per game) -- a 90% increase over last season's 2.37 final average -- a 122% increase from the final season average two years ago (2.03) -- and a 157% increase from three years ago (1.75). The 4.50 final regular season average on Comcast SportsNet is also the highest Bulls regular season average on any Chicago regional sports network in 13 years (since the '97-'98 season).

Looking at the national basketball broadcasts... ESPN's television coverage of Game 1 on Saturday will be called by Dan Shulman, Jon Barry, and Ric Bucher. TNT's coverage of Game 2 on Monday the 18th will be called by Dick Stockton, Chris Webber and Jaime Maggio. Game 3 on Thursday the 21st will be on NBA-TV (announcers TBD). Game 4 will be on April 23 on TNT with announcers Dick Stockton, Mike Fratello and Jaime Maggio. TNT also has the national rights to a Game 7 (if necessary) with the announcers still TBD. It is not yet determined which national outlet, if any, will pick up Games #5 & #6.

ESPN Radio has the national radio rights to the 1st round of playoffs. However, no national radio broadcasts will be heard locally. WMVP-AM/ESPN 1000 has the exclusive rights to air the Bulls Radio Network throughout the entire post-season. Announcing the games for WMVP-AM will be the regular radio team of Chuck Swirsky on play-by-play and former Bull Bill Wennington on color commentary. Steve Kashul will host the pregame, postgame and halftime shows.

WMVP-AM's website will also be continue to provide insight via their Bulls Blog by Bulls "Insider" Nick Friedell.

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Here now is the complete broadcast schedule of the Round 1 of the 2011 NBA Playoffs of the Chicago Bulls vs the Indianapolis Pacers:

Game 1: Saturday, April 16, Noon -- Bulls vs. Pacers (United Center) -- TV: ESPN/CSN ; Radio: WMVP-AM

Game 2: Monday, April 18, 8:30pm –- Bulls vs. Pacers (United Center) -- TV: TNT/CSN ; Radio: WMVP-AM

Game 3: Thursday, April 21, 6:00pm -- Bulls at Pacers (Conseco Fieldhouse) -- TV: NBA-TV/CSN ; Radio: WMVP-AM

Game 4: Saturday, April 23, 1:30pm -- Bulls at Pacers (Conseco Fieldhouse) -- TV: TNT/CSN ; Radio: WMVP-AM

Game 5: Tuesday, April 26 (Time TBD) -- Bulls vs. Pacers (United Center) -- TV: (TBD)/CSN ; Radio: WMVP-AM *if necessary

Game 6: Thu, April 28 (Time TBD) -- Bulls at Pacers (Conseco Fieldhouse) -- TV: (TBD)/CSN ; Radio: WMVP-AM *if necessary

Game 7: Sat, April 30 (Time TBD) -- Bulls vs. Pacers (United Center) -- TV: TNT/CSN ; Radio: WMVP-AM *if necessary

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Some Comcast SportsNet Chicago programming notes...

Due to the Bulls playoffs taking precedence, three baseball games that were previously scheduled to air on Comcast SportsNet will be partially or entirely shifted to CSN+. Those three games are:

Monday, April 18: The White Sox at Tampa Bay Rays game, which was originally scheduled on CSN at 5:30pm, will now be live on both Comcast SportsNet and CSN+ from 5:30pm-8:00pm. However, at 8:00 pm, Comcast SportsNet will cut away from the baseball game to go to "Bulls Pre-Game Live." The remainder of the game and the White Sox postgame show will be seen only on CSN+.

Thursday, April 21: The White Sox at Tampa Bay Rays game, which was originally scheduled on Comcast SportsNet at 5:30pm, will now move entirely to CSN+.

Saturday, April 23: The Cubs vs. LA Dodgers game, which was originally scheduled on CSN at Noon, will now be live on both Comcast SportsNet and CSN+ from only Noon-1:00pmpm. However, at 1:00 pm, Comcast SportsNet will cut away from the baseball game to go to "Bulls Pre-Game Live." The remainder of the game and the Cubs postgame show will be seen only on CSN+.

Check your local station guide for which channel CSN+ can be found on. In most cases, it will be on the same channel as CLTV.


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