CHICAGO (Feb. 23, 2016) – The Chicago Fire Soccer Club and Comcast SportsNet Chicago announced Tuesday regional broadcasting plans for the Fire’s 2016 MLS campaign. CSN Chicago will carry 28 Fire matches, beginning with the home opener against New York City FC at Toyota Park on Sunday, March 6 at 1 p.m. CT. This season’s plans also include expanded All Access programming, a five-game Spanish-language simulcast schedule and more linear and digital coverage of the Men in Red than ever before.
“CSN Chicago continues to produce compelling game broadcasts and unique shoulder programming options that is sure to build on the first-year successes,” said Fire COO Atul Khosla. “We’re thrilled to see our partnership continue to grow through these enhanced offerings.”
Chicago Fire All-Access will expand to four episodes this season, with the debut episode airing on Wednesday, March 2 at 9 p.m. CT. CSN will also broadcast an alternative Spanish-language telecast for five Fire games this season, exclusively on CSN+. The first telecast will take place on Saturday, April 2 at 4 p.m. CT when the Fire host the Philadelphia Union at 4 p.m. CT.
The season kicks off with a three-and-a-half hour broadcast window on March 6, beginning at noon CT with the rebroadcast of the debut episode of Chicago Fire All-Access, a behind-the-scenes program, followed by a 30-minute pregame show, the season opener against NYCFC and a 30-minute postgame wrap show.
“The Chicago Fire continues to make an impact not only in terms of growth of their fan base over the past several years, but also in their devoted impact in our community,” added Phil Bedella, Vice President/General Manager for Comcast SportsNet Chicago. “We are proud to be the regional television home for the Fire and fans can count on us once again to deliver expert game coverage, along with enhanced digital coverage, for what promises to be an exciting 2016 MLS season.”
Back in the broadcast booth for his seventh season is play-by-play announcer Dan Kelly. Kelly, a native of St. Louis, called play-by-play for the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks on Comcast SportsNet from 2006-2008. In addition, Kelly has done play-by-play for the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Big Ten Network (including men’s and women's college soccer for six years), as well as both the men’s and women's Big Ten Tournament, University of Denver men’s hockey and for MLS games on HDNet.
Fire legend Frank Klopas will join Kelly in the booth as a color analyst. A Chicago soccer icon, Klopas returned to his hometown in advance of the 1998 season and led the Fire to the double, helping the club to the 1998 MLS Cup in a 2-0 win over D.C. United before scoring the Golden Goal days later in a 2-1 extra time victory over the Columbus Crew in that year’s U.S. Open Cup final. Klopas served as the Fire head coach from 2011-13 and in the same capacity for the Montreal Impact from 2014-15. A U.S. international, Klopas scored 12 goals in 39 appearances and represented the United States in the 1988 Summer Olympics, the 1994 FIFA World Cup and the 1995 Copa America tournaments.
Paul Tenorio will serve as the sideline reporter. Tenorio joins the broadcast team after serving as the Orlando City SC and soccer beat writer for the Orlando Sentinel for the past three years. A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Tenorio additionally served as a sports writer for The Washington Post from 2007-12.
“I’m particularly excited with Frank’s new association with the Fire,” continued Khosla. “I’m confident that he will be a great fit in the booth with Dan and, when supported by Paul’s work on the sideline, believe that we have assembled a top-class on-air team which will provide unmatched coverage and analysis this season.”
CHICAGO FIRE 2016 CSN CHICAGO BROADCAST SCHEDULE:
|Sunday, March 6||New York City FC||CSN||1 p.m.|
|Saturday, March 19||Columbus Crew SC||CSN+||4 p.m.|
|Saturday, April 2||Philadelphia Union||CSN •||4 p.m.|
|Saturday, April 16||Montreal Impact||CSN+||4 p.m.|
|Saturday, April 30||D.C. United||CSN •||4 p.m.|
|Wednesday, May 11||at Vancouver Whitecaps FC||CSN+||9 p.m.|
|Saturday, May 14||at New England Revolution||CSN||6:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday, May 18||at New York Red Bulls||CSN+||6:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, May 21||Houston Dynamo||CSN+||4 p.m.|
|Saturday, May 28||Portland Timbers||CSN •||7:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, June 18||at Colorado Rapids||CSN+||8 p.m.|
|Wednesday, June 22||at Philadelphia Union||CSN+||6 p.m.|
|Saturday, July 9||at Toronto FC||CSN||6:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday, July 13||Sporting KC||CSN •||7:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, July 16||at FC Dallas||CSN+||8 p.m.|
|Saturday, July 23||at New England Revolution||CSN+||6:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, July 31||New York Red Bulls||CSN •||6 p.m.|
|Saturday, Aug. 6||at Real Salt Lake||CSN||9 p.m.|
|Saturday, Aug. 20||at Montreal Impact||CSN+||6:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday, Aug. 24||LA Galaxy||CSN+||7:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, Aug. 27||at D.C. United||CSN+||6 p.m.|
|Saturday, Sept. 3||Philadelphia Union||CSN+||7:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, Sept. 10||Toronto FC||CSN+||7:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday, Sept. 28||at Seattle Sounders FC||CSN||9:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, Oct. 1||at Columbus Crew SC||CSN||6:30 p.m.|
|Thursday, Oct. 13||Columbus Crew SC||CSN||7:30 p.m.|
|Sunday, Oct. 16||New England Revolution||CSN||4 p.m.|
|Sunday, Oct. 23||at Toronto FC||CSN||3 p.m.|
Note: • indicates simultaneous Spanish-language broadcast on CSN+