Published on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 18:35
In late August
, the Chicago Bulls released what it hoped would be its broadcast schedule for the 2011-2012 NBA season. Unfortunately, an inability to come to an agreement between the NBA owners and Players Association, led to a multi-week lockout and most of the first two months of the season was canceled. With the lockout finally over, the NBA is ready to finally kick off its season, with the pre-season starting this week and the regular season beginning on Christmas Day. Here is a look at the finalized broadcast schedule for the new season.
All 65 regular season games are scheduled to be televised, as well as the two pre-season games. As it has been for the last few years, the lion's share of local broadcasts of Chicago Bulls games will be handled by Comcast SportsNet Chicago. CSN will be televising 35 regular season games -- seven less than last year, due to the lockout -- although three of those games will have to be televised on Comcast SportsNet Plus due to conflicts with other live sporting events. Additionally, Comcast SportsNet will also broadcast one of the Bulls' preseason contests. (The Chicago Bulls are 20% owners in Comcast SportsNet Chicago.)
WGN-TV will broadcast 14 regular season Chicago Bulls games, plus one pre-season game, with all but five of those broadcasts also appearing nationally on WGN America. WGN Sports will broadcast an additional six Chicago Bulls regular season games, but they will air locally only on WCIU-TV.
Once again, the local television broadcasts will have the games called by the entertaining team of Neil Funk on play-by-play, with former Bull Stacey King as the color analyst. This will be the fourth straight season for the duo.
With the Bulls falling just short of reaching the NBA Finals last season, plus the fact the exciting young team also contains the NBA's MVP, Derrick Rose, the team is highly sought after by the national networks. In addition to 10 WGN-TV games shown nationally on their cable/satellite superstation WGN America, the Chicago Bulls will also have 26 nationally-televised games with 10 games on ESPN, seven games on TNT, five games on ABC-TV (seen locally on WLS-TV), and four games on NBA-TV.
The regular season opener for the Chicago will be seen nationally on ABC-TV, as the Bulls travel to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers on December 25th at 4:00pm. The following night, on December 26th, WGN-TV & WGN America will broadcast their first regular season game with the Bulls taking on the Golden State Warriors in Oakland. Comcast SportsNet Chicago will finally get to broadcast their first regular season game on December 29th as the Bulls play against the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento. CSN also gets to air the Chicago Bulls home opener on New Years Day, January 1st when the Bulls tackle the Memphis Grizzlies. WCIU-TV doesn't get to televise its first game of the regular season until January 6th, when the Bulls travel to Orlando to take on the Magic.
Once again, all Chicago Bulls games will be broadcast on radio on WMVP-AM/ESPN 1000/ESPN Chicago. WMVP-AM is the exclusive home for the Chicago market to carry the Chicago Bulls Radio Network broadcasts. This would have been the fourth year of a five year contract between the Bulls organization and ESPN Radio, but the two organizations agreed to a new multi-year extension
at the start of this month that takes WMVP-AM's rights for Chicago Bulls broadcasts through the end of the 2016-2017 NBA season. Once again, the games will be called on the radio by Chuck Swirsky on play-by-play, with former Bull Bill Wennington as the color analyst. This will be the third season together for the radio broadcasting pair. Steve Kashul returns to host the broadcasts' pre-game, post-game and halftime shows.
To see the entire 2011-2012 Chicago Bulls schedule, including game times and which network(s) will air the televised games, click on this link HERE