NBC Sports Chicago is an American regional sports network that is owned by the NBC Sports Group unit of NBCUniversal (which owns 20%, and is itself owned by Comcast, the primary cable provider in the Chicago market), the family of Chicago Cubs owner J. Joseph Ricketts (who own 20%), Chicago Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf (who owns a 40% majority interest), and Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz (who owns 20%).
The channel broadcasts regional coverage of professional sports teams in the Chicago metropolitan area, as well as college sports events and original sports-related news, discussion and entertainment programming. NBC Sports Chicago is available on cable and fiber optic television providers in most of Illinois, and throughout northern Indiana, Iowa, Kenosha County, Wisconsin and southwest Michigan and nationwide on satellite providers DirecTV and Dish Network. The network maintains main studios and offices located at 350 North Orleans Street, inside the River North Point Center in the Near North Side area.
|NBC Sports Chicago|
|Launched||October 1, 2004|
|Network||NBC Sports Regional Networks|
|Formerly called||Comcast SportsNet Chicago (2004–2017)|
(some events may air on overflow feed NBC Sports Chicago Plus during event conflicts)
|Xfinity (Chicago area)|
|RCN Corporation (Chicago)|
|Available on select other cable systems in designated broadcast area||Consult your local cable provider or program listings source for channel availability|
In November 2003, Jerry Reinsdorf, Bill Wirtz and the Tribune Company decided to end their cable television agreements for their respective teams, the Bulls, White Sox, Cubs and Blackhawks with FSN Chicago, stripping that network of broadcast rights to all of the professional sports teams in the Chicago area. All three team owners decided to enter into a partnership with Comcast to form a new regional sports network, to be named Comcast SportsNet Chicago, whose launch was formally announced on December 2. CSN Chicago was created in order for the four teams to have editorial control over their broadcasts, although the network continued to share the rights to the Cubs, White Sox, Blackhawks and Bulls with WGN-TV (channel 9; which is owned by Tribune) and (until 2014) WCIU-TV (channel 26).
Comcast SportsNet Chicago launched on October 1, 2004. At that time, with the loss of all four teams from its lineup, FSN Chicago was effectively left with only events from some minor local and semi-professional teams, national programming from Fox Sports Net, and Midwestern outdoors programs on its schedule; many cable and satellite providers in northeastern Illinois and northwest Indiana also chose to replace FSN Chicago with CSN Chicago upon its launch.
After Rainbow Media shut down FSN Chicago on June 23, 2006, Comcast SportsNet Chicago acquired the regional cable television rights to broadcast sports events, discussion and entertainment programs intended for national distribution to the Fox Sports regional networks. The network subsequently relocated its operations into FSN Chicago's former studio facilities on Orleans Street (which NBC Sports Chicago now also shares with the offices of the Chicago Sun-Times).
On April 2, 2007, the Tribune Company announced its intent to sell its shares in both Comcast SportsNet Chicago and the Chicago Cubs as part of the company's $8.2 billion purchase by real estate magnate Sam Zell.
After inheriting the team from father Bill Wirtz upon his death in September 2007, new Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz decided to lift a longstanding ban on televised coverage of the team's home games (which the elder Wirtz imposed as a means to sustain ticket sales). On March 30, 2008, the Blackhawks announced a broadcasting agreement, which renewed CSN Chicago's broadcast rights (with the network carrying the bulk of the games), while also splitting a share of the local broadcasts with WGN-TV effective with the 2008–09 season; all of the team's games (both home and away) would be televised in high definition (due to the NHL's broadcast contracts, including ironically one with eventual Comcast division NBCUniversal, WGN-TV was barred from carrying its share of Blackhawks telecasts on its former national superstation feed WGN America, although its game telecasts were available in Canada through the station's carriage as a superstation on domestic cable and satellite providers).
Comcast SportsNet Chicago, along with the other Comcast SportsNet-branded networks, implemented a new network logo style (utilizing Comcast's then-universal corporate logo) and graphics package on October 1, 2008, coinciding with the fourth anniversary of the network's launch.
On January 5, 2009, the network premiered Monsters in the Morning, a weekday morning talk show hosted by former WSCR radio host Mike North and Comcast SportsNet Chicago reporter and former Chicago Bear Dan Jiggetts. The program was cancelled in January 2010, due to problems involving the show, including the program's main sponsor, the now-defunct online sports channel ChicagoSportsWebio.com, being implicated in defrauding North, Jiggetts and others in a money laundering scheme in June 2009; North subsequently became the host of Monsters and Money in the Morning, a short-lived program for CBS owned-and-operated station WBBM-TV (channel 2), which briefly replaced that station's morning newscast.
On August 21, 2009, the Tribune Company sold its interests in the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field and 25% of Comcast SportsNet to the family of TD Ameritrade founder J. Joseph Ricketts for $845 million.
With Comcast's acquisition of NBC Universal in February 2011, Comcast SportsNet was also integrated into the new NBC Sports Group unit, culminating with the addition of the peacock logo in September 2012 and an updated graphics package based on that introduced by NBC Sports for its NBC and national cable broadcasts in January 2013. The updated graphics were implemented on CSN's live game coverage and all studio shows, with the exception of SportsNet Central.
In September 2012, Comcast SportsNet Chicago and its sister Comcast SportsNet outlets ceased carrying Fox Sports Networks-supplied programming, after failing to reach an agreement to continue carrying FSN's nationally distributed programs. SportsNet Central would ultimately implement a new on-air look of its own and on April 14, 2014, in conjunction with that change, the program switched to the updated graphics package introduced three years earlier.
On October 2, 2017, the network was rebranded as NBC Sports Chicago, as part of a larger rebranding of the Comcast SportsNet networks under the NBC Sports brand.
On January 2, 2019, the White Sox, Bulls, and Blackhawks agreed to an exclusive multi-year deal with NBC Sports Chicago beginning in the fall of 2019, ending their broadcasts on WGN-TV. The Cubs, with the 2020 launch of the team-owned Marquee Sports Network, will move on to that cable channel after 15 years with the network ending with the 2019 season.
Through its majority ownership by the owners of each of the four teams, NBC Sports Chicago holds the regional cable television rights to air a majority of games involving the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox Major League Baseball clubs, the NBA's Chicago Bulls and the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks. However, as Chicago is one of the scant few remaining U.S. markets whose baseball and basketball teams broadcast their games both over-the-air and on local cable, the network shares the broadcast rights to all four teams with WGN-TV, while both share the rights to the Cubs with ABC owned-and-operated station WLS-TV (channel 7). The network also holds the broadcast rights to games involving the Chicago Fire S.C. of Major League Soccer. The channel had held the broadcast rights to games of the now-defunct Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League.
On April 13, 2010, CSN Chicago announced that it had signed a contract with Chicago Fire S.C. to broadcast at least eight of the franchise's matches for the 2010 season; on January 26, 2015, Comcast SportsNet Chicago signed a three-year contract with the Chicago Fire to become the team's exclusive local television broadcaster, after having carried its games the previous two years on WPWR-TV.
The network also carries collegiate sports events including football games involving the Northern Illinois University Huskies and basketball games from the Illinois State University Redbirds. Prior to the termination of Comcast SportsNet's groupwide programming agreement with Fox Sports Networks, CSN Chicago additionally broadcast FSN's national programming following the shutdown of FSN Chicago, notably including the network's college sports coverage, such as Atlantic Coast Conference men's and women's basketball games (on Sundays), men's basketball games from the Pac-12 Conference (on various nights) and college football games from the Big 12 Conference and Pac-12 Conference (on Saturdays during the fall).
Beginning in 2016, CSN Chicago obtained the exclusive rights to championship games for the Iowa High School Athletic Association in football, basketball and wrestling, replacing the previous model of a statewide broadcast network in Iowa of stations in each market.
NBC Sports Chicago's flagship program is SportsNet Central, a nightly sports news program featuring live reports and coverage on the Chicago area's major sports teams as well as game highlights from local and national teams; the program also features special regular segments such as "Luke-A-Likes" (a popular segment hosted by Luke Stuckmeyer on nights when he hosts the program, a viewer-voting segment featuring photos submitted by viewers claiming to resemble a particular sports figure) and the "Chicago Sports Trivia Question" (a bumper segment shown before and after a commercial break featuring trivia questions related to Chicago sports).
The network also carries team magazine and coaches shows focusing on the Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs and White Sox, as well as the Northern Illinois University and Illinois State University football and basketball teams.
Since the network launched in 2004, NBC Sports Chicago has hosted the CSN Chicago Sports Awards, an annual award show to raise money for the March of Dimes (this program dates back to 1987, when the children's charity started the benefit in partnership with SportsChannel Chicago, the later FSN Chicago). The honorees included top athletes from Chicago's professional sports teams, who were chosen based on their contributions to their teams and the Chicago community. To date, the "CSN Chicago Sports Awards" has raised over $6 million for the March of Dimes.
NBC Sports Chicago Plus is an overflow feed of NBC Sports Chicago, which is primarily used to alleviate scheduling conflicts that result when two sports events involving teams that the network holds the right to broadcast are scheduled to occur simultaneously. The network operates a secondary overflow, NBC Sports Chicago Plus 2, or in the past listed as Alternate, if three concurring sporting events are scheduled for the same time. Both networks have also sometimes been used to show locally produced and FSN-distributed college sports events.
NBC Sports Chicago Plus' HD simulcast feed was previously used as a help channel (an information channel providing instructional information on products offered by the provider) on Comcast systems when no sports events were being telecast (it had been the channel slot for MOJO HD before its 2008 shutdown); it now carries programming originally broadcast on the main NBC Sports Chicago network outside of sporting events.
Originally operating as a gametime-only service, cable providers mainly transmit NBC Sports Chicago Plus and NBC Sports Chicago Plus 2 on non-critical networks, with Comcast carrying the primary Plus feed over the channel slot occupied by regional news channel Chicagoland Television (CLTV) or on another slot (such as channel 101) on its Chicago systems; conversely, Dish Network carries the standard definition feed of the main Plus network on alternating channels assigned by the satellite provider. At times when NBC Sports Chicago Plus and NBC Sports Chicago Plus 2 are broadcasting at the same time, one of the overflows will be carried on the alternate channel, mostly on C-SPAN2, in the case of cable providers.
NBC Sports Chicago HD is a 1080i high definition simulcast of NBC Sports Chicago. It carries all home and road games involving the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bulls and Chicago Fire as well as all studio shows in high definition. NBC Sports Chicago HD is carried on Comcast, RCN, WOW! Internet, Phone and Cable and AT&T U-verse within the Chicago market, and nationally on DirecTV and Dish Network.
The network's overflow feeds, NBC Sports Chicago Plus and NBC Sports Chicago Plus 2, also maintain HD simulcasts: NBC Sports Chicago Plus HD is available only part-time on Comcast systems within outer markets and full-time on Comcast systems in the Chicago metro area and on AT&T U-verse, while NBC Sports Chicago Plus 2 HD is available only through DishNetwork, AT&T U-verse and DirecTV (most cable providers carry the Plus 2 feed in standard definition).
The 2018 Chicago Bears season was the franchise's 99th season in the National Football League, as well as the first under head coach Matt Nagy, who took over the job after John Fox was fired in 2017 following a three-year tenure.
2018 marked their first winning season since 2012 and their first playoff appearance since 2010. The Bears ensured improvement over their 5–11 record from the previous season in Week 10 when they defeated their division rival Detroit Lions. In week 12, they scored their eighth win of the season, also against the Lions, ensuring that the Bears would not have a losing season for the first time since 2013. With a Week 14 win over the Los Angeles Rams, the Bears clinched their first winning season since 2012. With their Week 15 win over the rival Green Bay Packers, the Bears clinched their first playoff berth and division title since 2010. They lost to the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, who they had helped get into the playoffs on the last game of the season, in the NFC Wild Card Game 15–16 on January 6, 2019 at Soldier Field.2019 Chicago White Sox season
The 2019 Chicago White Sox season is the club's 120th season in Chicago and 119th in the American League. The Sox play their home games at Guaranteed Rate Field. It is expected to be the final season of gameday broadcasts on WGN-TV, bringing to a close an era of periodic White Sox free-to-air broadcasts to its fans all over the city, as beginning in 2020 the White Sox will broadcast almost all its home and away games on both NBC Sports Chicago and NBC Sports Chicago+.Adam Burish
Adam Mark Burish (born January 6, 1983) is an American former professional ice hockey winger who played in the National Hockey League (NHL) with the Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks. He is currently an analyst covering Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago.Bill Melton
William Edwin Melton (born July 7, 1945), nicknamed "Beltin' Bill" or "Beltin' Melton", is an American former professional baseball player and current television sports commentator. He played as a third baseman in Major League Baseball from 1968 through 1977 for the Chicago White Sox, California Angels and Cleveland Indians. He is now a commentator for NBC Sports Chicago White Sox broadcasts.Chuck Garfien
Chuck Garfien is an anchor/reporter for NBC Sports Chicago. He's the host of White Sox Pregame/Postgame Live, and is the station's sideline reporter for the Chicago Bulls. Since joining NBC Sports Chicago in 2004, Garfien has won 6 Chicago/Midwest Emmy awards for feature stories on Chicago sports.
Along with his work on-air and writing for nbcsportschicago.com, Garfien hosts the White Sox Talk Podcast, featuring interviews, news and discussions regarding the club.
Prior to joining NBC Sports Chicago, Garfien was an anchor/reporter for Fox Sports Net in Denver. He served a two-year stint with ESPN and was one of the original anchors on ESPNEWS. He was the Sports Director for two years at WWJ-TV/WKBD-TV, the CBS and UPN affiliates in Detroit, and was a sports anchor/reporter for WABC-TV in New York City. Garfien was also a sports anchor/reporter at WHTM-TV in Harrisburg, PA and had his first on-air sportscasting job at WPBN-TV in Traverse City, MI.
Garfien is a board member for the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. He graduated from USC with a degree in communications and attended Homewood-Flossmoor High School. Garfien's broadcasting career began at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, where he spent 4 years working for WHFH. He was the station manager during his senior year.Dan P. Kelly
Daniel Patrick Kelly is a sportscaster and is the son of St. Louis Blues broadcaster Dan Kelly, the nephew of hockey and baseball broadcaster Hal Kelly and the younger brother of current St. Louis Blues TV broadcaster John Kelly. He is currently the television play-by-play voice for Chicago Fire in Major League Soccer on NBC Sports Chicago and WGN Sports.
Dan is technically not a junior. His given name is Daniel Patrick Kelly, while his father was Patrick Daniel Kelly.David DeJesus
David Christopher DeJesus (; born December 20, 1979) is an American former professional baseball outfielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals, Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. DeJesus, who is of Puerto Rican descent, is currently an analyst for the Cubs with NBC Sports Chicago. His wife, Kim, is an actress.David Kaplan (radio)
David Kaplan is an American columnist, radio and television personality who currently hosts Kap and Co. on ESPN 1000. He also co-hosts Sports Talk Live, a daily sports roundtable discussion show on NBC Sports Chicago.Doug Glanville
Douglas Metunwa Glanville (born August 25, 1970) is an American former professional baseball outfielder, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, and Texas Rangers. He is also an MLB analyst, currently working for NBC Sports Chicago.In 1999, Glanville batted .325, and placed second in the National League (NL) to Luis Gonzalez in hits, with 204. He was also known for his exceptional defense, having attained double-digit outfield assists on three separate occasions. Glanville also ended his career going 293 consecutive games without a fielding error. In the 11th inning of Game 3 of the 2003 NL Championship Series, he hit the game-winning triple for the Cubs.
In 2005, with no immediate prospects of joining a MLB roster, Glanville signed a one-day minor league contract with the Phillies, then retired, having collected exactly 1,100 career hits. He stated he wanted to leave baseball wearing the uniform of the team that he grew up as a fan of, and to which he gave most of his playing career.
Glanville is also a consultant with Baseball Factory, a high-school player development program and writes guest columns for The New York Times and ESPN.com on baseball and sports in general. On April 1, 2010, he joined ESPN as a baseball color analyst. While at ESPN, Glanville contributed to Baseball Tonight, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, and ESPN The Magazine. On April 27, 2017, it was revealed that he was to be among the many layoffs ESPN had made.Eddie Olczyk
Edward Walter "Eddie" Olczyk Jr. (; born August 16, 1966) is an American professional ice hockey analyst, former player and coach. He was a center in the National Hockey League for 16 seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, and Pittsburgh Penguins. Olczyk was also the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins from June 2003 to December 2005.
He currently serves as a television color commentator for NHL on NBC and Chicago Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago and WGN-TV. He played 1,031 NHL games and produced 342 goals and 452 assists for a total of 794 points between 1984 and 2000. He was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame on February 22, 2013.
Olczyk was tied with Phil Kessel for the second longest point streak by an American-born player in NHL history, at 18 games. He achieved this in 1989-90, while with Toronto. That record was broken by Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2015–16 season.Kelly Crull
Kelly Ann Crull (born February 16, 1984) is an American sportscaster and television personality, who has been a digital and on-air contributor for the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bulls. She has also worked for Fox Sports and NBC Sports Chicago.Leila Rahimi
Leila Rahimi (born June 22, 1981) is an American television sports anchor and reporter for NBC Sports Chicago.Len Kasper
Len Joseph Kasper (born January 21, 1971) is a play-by-play announcer for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball (2005–present) on WGN-TV, WLS-TV and NBC Sports Chicago.
Kasper works alongside color analyst Jim Deshaies on Cubs telecasts. He also joins the team's radio network for the fifth inning of games that are televised nationally (including playoff games), working with regular radio announcers Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer.List of Chicago Bulls broadcasters
Broadcasters for the Chicago Bulls National Basketball Association team.Major League Baseball on NBC Sports
Major League Baseball on NBC Sports refers to Major League Baseball television coverage on the chain of NBC Sports regional networks.Mark Schanowski
Mark Schanowski is an American sportscaster. Schanowski currently works for NBC Sports Chicago, appearing in the Chicago Bulls' pre- and post-game shows as well as the SportsNite program. Schanowski had worked as a sports anchor at WMAQ-TV until 2005.Steve Konroyd
Stephen Mark Konroyd (born February 10, 1961) is a Canadian former ice hockey defenceman. He currently is a co-host of intermission and post-game segments on WGN-TV and NBC Sports Chicago broadcasts of Chicago Blackhawks' games.Will Perdue
William Edward Perdue (born August 29, 1965) is an American retired NBA basketball player who was a member of four NBA championship teams, three with the Chicago Bulls (1991-1993) and one with the San Antonio Spurs (1999). Perdue is now a Studio analyst for NBC Sports Chicago during their pre-game and post-game Chicago Bulls broadcasts.
Perdue attended Merritt Island High School, Merritt Island, Florida He then played basketball at Vanderbilt, where he was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and SEC Male Athlete of the Year in 1988. He was selected by the Chicago Bulls with the 11th overall pick in the 1988 NBA draft. The Bulls won three championships from 1991–1993 during Perdue's career. Perdue was mainly a backup to center Bill Cartwright. He became a regular starter during the 1994–95 NBA season, during which he averaged 8.0 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. However, the emergence of Luc Longley made him expendable, and before the next season's training camp, the Bulls traded him to the San Antonio Spurs for Dennis Rodman. The Spurs won the NBA championship in 1999, Perdue's fourth.In August 1999, Perdue rejoined the Bulls as a free agent. He started 15 of 67 games for them in 1999–2000, averaging 2.5 points and 3.9 rebounds. After the 2000 season, Perdue left Chicago and signed with the Portland Trail Blazers, where he averaged 1.3 points, 1.4 rebounds and 4.5 minutes in 13 games. He averaged 4.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game over a thirteen-year career.