CHICAGO (Heartland Newsfeed/Ambush Sports) — WGN has become the home for all locally-broadcast games for Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Chicago Fire via a landmark multi-year partnership agreement, according to a press release Wednesday.
In the Fire’s 34-match MLS regular season, 24 local broadcasts will be carried on WGN. 18 of those broadcasts will be in prime time.
The remaining 10 matches will be national broadcasts across ABC, ESPN, FS1, Univision and UniMás.
The release states the agreement will be an added bonus to their ongoing partnership with ESPN+, the leading direct-to-consumer sports streaming service.
“In this transformational year for our club, we want to provide our fans with as many ways as possible to experience the Fire, both live at Soldier Field and on the broadcast,” said Joe Mansueto, owner and chairman of the Chicago Fire. “We know WGN-TV’s powerful place on the city’s sports scene and we’re excited to be their new flagship sports property.”
“WGN-TV has a rich history of broadcasting live sports and we look forward to continuing and building on that tradition with Chicago Fire FC,” commented Paul Rennie, WGN vice president and general manager. “The Fire have found a new home at Soldier Field and now a new broadcast home at WGN-TV. We’re thrilled to bring the exciting action of Chicago Fire FC to our viewers and all of Chicago.”
WGN’s broadcast schedule for the Fire will start on the road with the New England Revolution on Sunday, Mar. 7, with kickoff at 12:30 p.m. Central time. A full broadcast schedule is listed here.
Additional coverage includes “Chicago Fire: Homecoming,” an all-access special going through the franchise’s changes during the offseason as well as an exclusive preview on its March 21 home opener against Atlanta United inside the confines of Soldier Field. That will air March 20 at 7:00 p.m. Central.
A monthly series delivering unprecedented access to the team will begin in April, featuring interviews and player, coach and fan profiles.
Game coverage of the Chicago Fire will also be a regular feature of the channel’s “GN Sports”, airing weeknights at 10:30 p.m. Central.
You can read the full press release here.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.
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