Super Bowl Watch: Stations are ready to cover the game

(First off, I’ll be posting mainly in the late-night hours this week because of other commitments that have popped up during other hours of the day…. But I will post breaking news when I feel its warranted…. On that note…)

Stations in Illinois and Indiana are gearing up to cover the big game:

– The CBS affiliates in the home-team markets – WBBM here in Chicago and WISH in Indianapolis are going big time to cover the game with expanded programming, live reports from Miami, prime-time specials, even marathons – WNDY-TV, sister station of WISH (both owned by LIN broadcasting) will air a 24-hour Colts marathon, beginning at noon Saturday. All stations involved are also offering interactive features on their websites.

– Meanwhile, what if you are a station manager in a market in between the two cities? No sweat, according to John Mann, president and general manager of WSBT-TV in South Bend, Ind. – home to a lot of Bears and Colts fans (and a train ride away from Chicago thanks to the South Shore commuter line.) The top-rated station in the 87th-largest market is also sending a crew to Miami and is expanding coverage after the game.

– Also, Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life (and one of the best media writers in this business, IMO) gives you seven good reasons why this year’s Super Bowl will outdraw last year’s game, though she does point out that the Bears aren’t in the top five in the NFL in popularity (times have changed since 1985, haven’t they? The Bears were No. 1 then.)