Published on Friday, 28 September 2012 14:09
Monday night's big football game between the 2-1 Chicago Bears and the 2-1 Dallas Cowboys will be shown nationally on ESPN. While that network is carried by every cable and satellite television provider, that still does not help those without cable or satellite. To make it easy for Chicagoans to watch the game, Chicago's WGN-TV has secured the rights to air the simulcast of the ESPN broadcast on its station.
That's not all that will be seen on the station that night, either...
ESPN will also have a lengthy two-hour pre-game show starting at 5:30pm with Chris Berman, Stuart Scott, Mike Ditka, Keyshawn Johnson, Cris Carter, Tom Jackson, Steve Young, and Trent Dilfer. This pre-game show will only be shown on ESPN, though, not on WGN-TV. In it's place, WGN-TV will have its own, entirely-locally-focused pre-game show.
At 7:00pm Monday night, WGN Sports will present the "Monday Night Pregame." The pregame show will be hosted by WGN-TV sports anchor Dan Roan, broadcasting live from the Dallas area. Joining Dan Roan will be the Chicago Tribune's Matt Bowen and David Haugh. Also joining Roan live will be the announcer of ESPN's "Monday Night Football," Mike Tirico. Additionally, WGN-TV's pregame show will feature a report on Bears linebacker Lance Brigg's budding comic book career.
ESPN's "Monday Night Football" game broadcast, which begins at 7:30pm, will feature announcers Mike Tirico on the play-by-play and analyst Jon Gruden. Lisa Salters will serve as the sideline reporter. That broadcast will be simulcast in its entirety on WGN-TV in the Chicago market.
Because of the game broadcast, the 60-minute "WGN News at Nine" will be delayed until the conclusion of the game, most likely sometime between 10:30pm and 10:45pm. While there will not be a local post-game show on WGN-TV, Dan Roan will have plenty local post-game coverage on that late newscast.
ESPN and ABC share the same principal owner, The Walt Disney Corporation. For that reason, the local simulcast was offered to ABC-owned WLS-TV/ABC 7 Chicago. Even though every Chicago Bears game broadcast for the last few years is by far the #1 rated broadcast of that particular week, WLS-TV chose to reject the ESPN simulcast, so as to air the reality show "Dancing With The Stars" without a delay. The simulcast then became available for any local Chicago outlet, and Tribune Broadcasting grabbed the rights to air it locally.
In a very rare move, WGN-TV will preempt its normal CW Network programming to air this game. The Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys game will only be broadcast on WGN-TV. Due to NFL rules, it will not on WGN-TV's cable/satellite superstation, WGN America, and not streamed on its website.
The preempted CW Network programing was a two-hour TV broadcast of highlights from the recent iHeartRadio concert event of Clear Channel Radio's. That will instead air on WGN-TV the following Sunday, October 7th, at 7:00pm.
UPDATE 5:00pm: This article has been updated with corrected and additional information.