Fire Unveil Regional Broadcast Schedule

Fire partner with NBC Chicago, Comcast SportsNet; Introduce 30-minute Pre-Game Show

CHICAGO, IL The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced Thursday that NBC Chicago and Comcast SportsNet (CSN) will be the official television broadcast partners of the Chicago Fire for the 2012 season. All regionally broadcast Fire matches will be preceded by a 30-minute pregame show. The Fire’s May 26 match will be aired live in Chicago on NBC 5 for the first time in club history. NBC Chicago Nonstop and CSN will air 22 Fire matches over the course of the club’s 15th MLS season. CSN begins its coverage of the Fire for the Men in Red’s first match against MLS newcomers Montreal Impact at Olympic Stadium in Montreal on Saturday, March 17 at 1:00 p.m. CT.

Download 2012 Chicago Fire Schedule

“Our club is excited to partner with our local NBC affiliate to air Chicago Fire matches on NBC Chicago Nonstop and we are happy to return to Comcast SportsNet for a third consecutive season,” said Fire COO Atul Khosla. “We recognize the tremendous growth potential of working with NBC Chicago and CSN and the MLS/NBC Sports partnership is indicative of NBC’s commitment to the growth of soccer in North America. The creation and production around a 30-minute pregame show will highlight our players, our club and will assist in the growth and promotion of the Fire throughout Chicagoland.”

The Fire will appear on national broadcast partners NBC (one game), NBC Sports Network (five games), ESPN (one game) and Galavision (five games) throughout the season.

“We are excited to add Chicago Fire games to our Nonstop line-up,” said Larry Wert, President/General Manager NBC 5 Chicago. “We look forward to having the Chicago Fire on NBC 5 in May for a Saturday night game. We continue to pursue programming for Nonstop that has a local connection and the Chicago Fire games are a great addition.”

In addition to the match on NBC 5, NBC Chicago Nonstop will televise a minimum of 14 Fire matches on the regional digital platform. CSN, whose local television base reaches 4.8 million, will broadcast a minimum of eight matches on CSN. The Men in Red first appear on NBC Chicago Nonstop when the Fire take on the Houston Dynamo at Toyota Park on Saturday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. CT.

“We’re very pleased to bring back Chicago Fire soccer action to our viewers this season,” said Greg Bowman, Vice President of Programming for Comcast SportsNet Chicago. “With every game being presented in HD, Fire fans will have plenty to look forward to this MLS season starting March 17th.”

Dan Kelly and Evan Whitfield will return for a third and second season, respectively, and the broadcast welcomes Kevin Egan to the fold as the club’s sideline reporter.

Kelly returns for his third season as the official voice of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club. Prior to joining the Fire as the club’s play-by-play announcer, the St. Louis native called play-by-play for the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks on Comcast SportsNet from 2006-2008. In addition, Kelly has done play-by-play for the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Big Ten Network, Denver University Men’s hockey and for MLS games on HDNet.

Whitfield, an Olympian and player with the Fire from 1999-2004, returns for his second season in the booth. The defender, and two-time U.S. Open Cup winner, was a constant in the Fire lineup during his five seasons on the field with the Men in Red, appearing in 103 matches, starting 78, tallying three goals and 12 assists. Since retiring from professional soccer in 2004, the Duke University grad acquired his Juris Doctorate from DePaul University. In addition to being the Fire’s color analyst, Whitfield is an attorney at Schiller DuCanto & Fleck LLP.

Egan is a television sports journalist from Dublin, Ireland, who’s covered the game of soccer at the highest level. After working for RTE (Ireland’s National Broadcaster) for five years, Egan moved to Chicago in 2009 and began working for the Big Ten Network as part of their production team. At BTN, Egan put his soccer knowledge and talents to good use, creating and presenting ‘BTN Soccer Report’, an online show covering the beautiful game within Big Ten country.

The Fire host Opening Day at Toyota Park against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, March 24 at 7:30 PM CT (CSN). Chicago Fire Season Tickets are available by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE (657-3473), via Ticketmaster or by heading to the club’s official website at Chicago-Fire.com.

 

2012 CHICAGO FIRE BROADCAST SCHEDULE

#

DATE

OPPONENT

H/A

TIME (CT)

LOCAL

NATIONAL

1

Saturday, Mar 17

Montreal

Away

1:00

CSN

 

2

Saturday, Mar 24

Philadelphia

Home

7:30

CSN

 

3

Sunday, Apr 1

Colorado

Away

6:00

 

GALAVISION

4

Sunday, Apr 15

Houston

Home

6:00

NBC5.2

GALAVISION

5

Saturday, Apr 21

Toronto

Away

2:30

 

NBCSN

6

Saturday, Apr 28

Seattle

Home

7:30

NBC5.2

 

7

Friday, May 4

Chivas USA

Away

  10:00

TBA

           

8

Wednesday, May 9*

Real Salt Lake

Home

7:30

NBC5.2

 

9

Saturday, May 12

Kansas City

Home

7:30

CSN

 

10

Sunday, May 20

Portland

Away

6:00

 

GALAVISION

11

Wednesday, May 23*

Dallas

Home

7:30

NBC5.2

 

12

Saturday, May 26

Columbus

Away

6:00

NBC5

GALAVISION

13

Saturday, Jun 2

New England

Away

6:30

CSN

 

14

Sunday, Jun 17

New York

Home

4:00

 

NBCSN

15

Saturday, Jun 23

Columbus

Home

7:30

NBC5.2

 

16

Friday, Jun 29

Kansas City

Away

7:00

 

NBCSN

17

Tuesday, Jul 3*

Houston

Away

7:30

NBC5.2

 

18

Sunday, Jul 8

LA Galaxy

Home

2:00

 

ESPN

19

Saturday, Jul 14

Vancouver

Home

7:30

CSN

 

20

Wednesday, Jul 18

New York

Away

Noon

CSN

 

21

Saturday, Jul 28

San Jose

Away

9:30

NBC5.2

 

22

Saturday, Aug 4

Toronto

Home

7:30

NBC5.2

 

23

Sunday, Aug 12

Philadelphia

Away

6:00

 

GALAVISION

24

Saturday, Aug 18

New England

Home

7:30

NBC5.2

 

25

Wednesday, Aug 22

D.C.

Away

6:30

CSN

 

26

Sunday, Sept 2

Houston

Home

6:00

NBC5.2

GALAVISION

27

Wednesday, Sep 12*

Toronto

Away

6:00

NBC5.2

 

28

Saturday, Sep 15

Montreal

Home

7:30

CSN

 

29

Saturday, Sep 22

Columbus

Home

7:30

NBC5.2

 

30

Friday, Sep 28

Kansas City

Away

7:30

 

NBCSN

31

Wednesday, Oct 3*

Philadelphia

Home

7:30

NBC5.2

 

32

Saturday, Oct 6

New York

Away

2:30

 

NBC

33

Saturday, Oct 20

New England

Away

6:30

NBC5.2

 

34

Saturday, Oct 27

D.C.

Home

3:00

 

NBCSN

*Postgame show instead of pregame show.