For the first time since being affiliated with the DuMont network way back in the 1950’s, WGN-TV will be airing a regular-season NFL football game.
Thanks to a deal made with eight of Tribune’s stations, the NFL network will make those games available to those over-the-air outlets involving their home market’s teams.
For Tribune-owned WGN-TV, the station is airing the Chicago Bears-Miami Dolphins game from the NFL Network on Novemeber 18 (but not WGN America.). The game is also airing on sister station WSFL-TV, which is also owned by Tribune (assuming they can sell out Sun Landshark Robbie Memorial Stadium – or whatever the stadium’s name is these days – on game day in Miami.)
The following week (Thanksgiving night), Tribune’s WPIX in New York City plans to carry the Cincinnati Bengals-New York Jets game. And the week after that, Houston Texans-Philadelphia Eagles game will be shown on Tribune’s Houston outlet (KIAH) and Philadelphia station (WPHL), respectively.
The Thursday night airing of the Bears game is no doubt going to cause headaches for fans of CW’s Vampire Diaries, which has become a popular hit among young audiences. The program will likely be delayed until 11 p.m., or delayed to another night. Fans in other cities where a Tribune station is a CW affiliate will face the same problem.
For the past three seasons, NFL Network games featuring the Bears were simulcast over WPWR-TV.
This marks the first regular-season Bears telecast on WGN. Even though they carried NFL games when they were a DuMont network affiliate from 1951-55, DuMont never carried any Bears games.