For First Time Ever, Chicago Fire Bring Soccer in High Definition to Millions of Homes through Launch of 2010 Broadcast Partnerships:
Fire Games Available in High Definition as Comcast SportsNet Chicago Named the Fire’s Official Cable TV Broadcast Partner, Partnership Includes First-Ever Fire Post-Game Show and First-Ever Live Audio Webcasts on Chicago-Fire.com
“La Tremenda” WRTO-AM 1200 Returns as Spanish-Language Radio Partner
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club formally unveiled today its most expansive broadcast effort to date with the naming of Comcast SportsNet Chicago (CSN) and Univision Radio as the club’s official broadcast partners for the 2010 MLS season. Additional broadcast announcements are forthcoming. For the first time in Fire history, all locally-produced matches will be broadcast in high definition (HD). Fire matches will be produced and made available via audio webcast in both English and Spanish on the Fire’s revamped website, www.Chicago-Fire.com. Comcast SportsNet telecasts in HD began with the Fire’s Opening Night at TOYOTA PARK against the San Jose Earthquakes before a record Opening Night crowd of 20,276.
New to the Fire’s broadcast platform is that a Cable and to-be-named-later TV station will combine to air the most locally-produced matches in club history. Comcast SportsNet will take the lead role as the club's production partner for all Fire matches.
“These unique and highly integrated broadcast partnerships for the Chicago Fire expand our reach to unprecedented heights and across multiple platforms in both English and Spanish. Fire games will reach millions of viewers in the Chicagoland and Midwest region, allowing more soccer fans than ever access to the World's Game across cable, TV, radio and the web. We are combining with leaders in sports broadcasting to bring soccer to Chicago. Comcast SportsNet and Univision are such high-profile brands and great businesses. We are thrilled to have them as partners,” said Fire President Dave Greeley.
Comcast SportsNet, whose regional television base reaches 4.7 million homes, will televise nine Fire matches on the regional sports network. Pending the completion of paperwork, another television station, to be announced at a later date, will broadcast a minimum of eight matches, with all of the remaining Fire matches available on the family of ESPN networks (five dates), Fox Soccer Channel (six dates) or TeleFutura (four dates total). In addition to play-by-play broadcasts, the Fire will work with Comcast SportsNet to provide soccer related content for a number of other multi-platform programs. All Fire matches appearing on Comcast SportsNet will be replayed on the regional sports network following the live airing.
“We’re very pleased to have Fire telecasts back on our air to further enhance our extensive line-up of local pro team coverage,” said James J. Corno, President of Comcast SportsNet Chicago. “The Fire has arguably the most passionate fan base in all of MLS and viewers can look forward to our expert coverage of Fire games in HD, along with the addition of post-game shows.”
One of the new dimensions to the Fire's 2010 broadcast package is the addition of the club’s first-ever post game show. Dan Kelly and Chris Doran will provide insight, analysis and a behind the scenes look at 14 Fire matches over the course of the 2010 season. The Fire and Comcast Sportsnet will provide additional online soccer content for fans at CSNChicago.com.
In their first year together, the broadcasting duo of Kelly (play-by-play) and Doran (analyst) will call the action for Fire games. Kelly and Doran will call all network TV broadcasts as "part of the home town team" and air those matches live as audio webcasts on Chicago-Fire.com. Kelly and Doran will play an integral part of the Fire’s television and online presence, providing content for all Chicago Fire media platforms.
"Similar to Chicago's other major league teams, the Fire now have a broadcast team in Dan Kelly and Chris Doran that will become the voices of the Fire and the world’s game throughout the region, across multiple platforms. To have a home town broadcast team is another step in the growth and development of the Fire and will provide our rapidly expanding fan base with more opportunities to enjoy the Beautiful Game in HD quality," said Greeley.
As part of its multi-cultural efforts, the Fire will once again join forces with the nation’s leading Spanish-language network Univision Radio, as the network’s local affiliate “La Tremenda” WRTO-AM 1200 will carry 25 of the 30 Chicago Fire matches in 2010, with five dates unavailable due to coverage on ESPN2/ESPN Deportes. The Fire’s Spanish-language broadcasts on “La Tremenda” will be anchored for a sixth season by veteran play-by-play broadcaster Oscar Guzman. The popular Chicago sports anchor will welcome back a familiar face for his calls of the “Men in Red”, as Nilton “Batata” DaSilva returns as color analyst for his fourth season.
“Univision Radio Chicago and WRTO Radio is looking forward to another great season with the Chicago Fire,” said Univision Senior Vice President Jerry Ryan. “Univision Radio and the Chicago Fire have had a long time partnership, broadcasting games and promoting soccer in the Hispanic Community. Chicago, being the second largest Mexican city in the United States, is home to a rabid Hispanic soccer fan base. 2010 should be a banner year for the Fire and the Spanish broadcast on WRTO.”
"Chicago is one of America's great multi-cultural market places and as the local representative of the World's Game, we are honored to bring 25 Fire games to our Spanish-speaking fans on local Chicago radio," added Greeley.
The Chicago Fire take on D.C. United at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, April 17 at 6:30 PM CT. The Fire return home to challenge the Houston Dynamo at TOYOTA PARK on Saturday, April 24. Tickets are available by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE (657-3473) or by going to the club’s official website at www.Chicago-Fire.com.
Day Date OPPONENT (Location) TIME (CT) TELEVISION
Sat. 27 New York (Away) 6:00 ESPN
Sat. 3 Colorado (Away) 3:00 TeleFutura
Sat. 10 San Jose (HOME) 7:30* CSN
Sat. 17 D.C. United (Away) 6:30* CSN
Sat. 24 Houston (HOME) 7:30* TBA
Sat. 1 Chivas USA (HOME) 7:30* CSN
Sat. 8 Toronto FC (Away) 3:00* TBA
Sat. 15 Kansas City (Away) 7:30 FSC
Thur. 27 Dallas (HOME) 7:00 ESPN2
Sat. 5 Philadelphia (HOME) 7:30* TBA
Wed. 9 Colorado (HOME) 8:00*# TBA
Sun. 27 New England (Away) 6:00* CSN
Sat. 3 Columbus (Away) 7:00 FSC
Thur. 8 Real Salt Lake (HOME) 8:30 ESPN2
Sat. 24 Kansas City (HOME) 7:30* CSN
Sun. 1 LA Galaxy (Away) 6:30 FSC
Sun. 8 New York (HOME) 8:00 ESPN2
Wed. 18 New England (HOME) 7:30* TBA
Sat. 21 Houston (Away) 7:30* CSN
Sat. 28 Seattle (Away) 9:30 CSN
Sat. 4 LA Galaxy (HOME) 3:00 CSN/TeleFutura
Wed. 8 Toronto FC (HOME) 7:30* TBA
Sat. 11 Philadelphia (Away) 5:00 FSC
Sat. 18 Real Salt Lake (Away) 3:00 TeleFutura
Sat. 25 Seattle (HOME) 7:00* TBA
Wed. 29 San Jose (Away) 10:00 ESPN2
Sat. 2 Dallas (Away) 7:30 FSC
Fri. 8 Columbus (HOME) 8:00 CSN
Sat. 16 D.C. United (HOME) 3:00* TBA/TeleFutura
Sat. 23 Chivas USA (Away) 10:00 FSC
*Followed by a 30-minute Fire Post Game Show.
#Chicago Fire – Colorado Rapids match being rescheduled from May 22 to June 9.