Monday, September 23, 2019

Indy WGN-9 To Air ESPN MNF

Unlike other professional leagues or collegiate conferences, the NFL still seeks to ensure fans can watch their hometown teams’ games with or without a cable, satellite or streaming subscription, according to The Chicago Tribune.

So, the NFL’s TV deals require that its games on ESPN, as well as NFL Network telecasts not simulcast by Fox, also be made available on a broadcast TV station in the participating teams’ home markets.

Typically, ABC-7 would pick up an ESPN game because the two outlets are corporate cousins within the Walt Disney Co., and most Chicago-area viewers watch it on that channel rather than the cable outlet.

But Monday is the beginning of the new network fall television season and so ABC-7 is obliged to carry a two-hour edition of “Dancing With the Stars” and the third-season debut of “The Good Doctor.”

Free of network commitments as an independent, WGN-9 has secured the right to carry the 7 p.m. ESPN production. Kickoff is set for 7:15 p.m., with Joe Tessitore and analyst Booger McFarland calling the action.

WGN-9 will supplement the feed with its own half-hour pregame show featuring Lauren Magiera and Jarrett Payton at 6:30 p.m.

The station will control some of the ad spots during the game, but otherwise will run ESPN’s telecast — even ESPN’s halftime show — intact. Postgame show elements will be folded into the WGN-9 newscast that follows.

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