Bulls TV ratings post huge gains on Comcast SportsNet at the All-Star break

Bulls TV ratings post huge gains on Comcast SportsNet at the All-Star break

CHICAGO BULLS TV RATINGS POST HUGE GAINS ON COMCAST SPORTSNET

Ratings up 45 compared to the 10-11 Season at the All-Star break;Top 3 highest-rated regular season Bulls telecasts in Comcast SportsNet history have occurred this season; Bulls Post Game Live Ratings continue to Rise

Chicago, IL (February 23, 2012) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the NBA Central Division first place Chicago Bulls, posted record-setting television ratings for the 2011-12 NBA season at the All-Star break, which have resulted in solid increases in household and all key demo ratings categories. In addition, the top three highest-rated regular season Bulls telecasts in Comcast SportsNet history have already occurred this season. Plus - Comcast SportsNets Kia Bulls Post Game Live has also enjoyed a solid year-to-year ratings increase.

Comcast SportsNets game telecast ratings for the Chicago Bulls this season are currently averaging a 5.92 household rating at the All-Star break (approx. 206,815 households watching per game) -- a 45 increase compared to last seasons 4.09 average at the All-Star break, which is an increase of over 63,000 more households tuning per game this season compared a year ago. The 5.92 average is also Comcast SportsNets highest-ever Bulls average to date at the All-Star break. Note the following additional Bulls ratings highlights on Comcast SportsNet so far this season:

The Top 3 highest-rated regular season Bulls games in Comcast SportsNet Chicago history (network launched in October of 2004) have already occurred within the first 19 telecasts of this season:

1) 8.73 Bulls vs. IND (12512)2) 7.66 Bulls vs. ATL (1312)3) 7.54 Bulls at DET (1412)

The 8.73 household record rating for the Bulls match-up vs. Indiana on January 25 was the 1 highest-rated regular season game for any team in Comcast SportsNet history, eclipsing the previous record of an 8.30 rating for the Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers telecast from July 28, 2008. This particular game also gave the network its all-time, highest-rated Bulls regular season game rating in the key advertising demo category of Adults 25-54 (5.13).

Already this season, ten Bulls telecasts on Comcast SportsNet have averaged at least a 6.0 household rating in 42 total regular season telecasts last season, only one game averaged at least a 6.0 rating.

Already this season, 15 out of the 19 Bulls total telecasts have averaged at least a 5.0 household ratinglast season, Comcast SportsNet also delivered 15 games with at least a 5.0 household rating, but that was reached in 42 total regular season telecasts.

Comcast SportsNet has also experienced massive year-to-year ratings increases in every key advertiser demo category, including Adults 25-54 (3.3 avg., up 74 from last seasons 1.9 avg. at the All-Star break).

In addition, Comcast SportsNets Kia Bulls Post Game Live ratings are currently up 38 compared to last season at the All-Star break.

Comcast SportsNets next two Bulls telecasts take place on Tuesday, February 28 vs. New Orleans (live coverage begins at 6:30 PM) & Wednesday, February 29 at San Antonio (live coverage begins at 7:30 PM). Viewers can also visit CSNChicago.com 247 for the very latest Bulls news, highlights, game previewsrecaps & BullsTalk blogs from Bulls Insider Aggrey Sam, along with exclusive videos and much more.

John Fox, Bears coaches balancing workload with injury risk as training camp convenes

John Fox, Bears coaches balancing workload with injury risk as training camp convenes

Bears players and coaches have been preparing for 2016 intermittently for the past several months. That said, the 2016 “season” effectively begins on Thursday with the Bears holding their first practice of training camp, one that will be open to the public even though players will work the first two days without pads.

From now until early next year, the Bears will have no more than one day off at a time, save the off-week leading up to no game on Nov. 6, and other than perhaps a bonus day off here and there, such as after the Thursday, Oct. 20 night game at Green Bay, after which coach John Fox may grant his team a couple added days off, depending on the performance in Green Bay.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

Pads come on for the first time since last Jan. 3 against the Detroit Lions as of Saturday’s practice. Thus begins the ongoing balancing act for coaches to maximize the amount of productive time within the parameters allowed under the collective bargaining agreement, all in the context of heat and conditions of contact.

“You’ve got to get your team ready for battle and you’ve got to make sure you’ve got guys ready to go to battle with,” Fox said. “So it’s a fine line, getting ready for football.”

The Bears already have had offseason injuries to guard Ted Larsen and wide receiver Marquess Wilson, in addition to a strained hamstring for rookie running back Jordan Howard and veterans like Pernell McPhee (knee) coming off surgery.

“It’s a combative game and injuries are part of it,” Fox said. “You’ve got to have some good fortune, and some good practice habits. That way you’re getting better and more physical, yet not to the point where you’re losing guys. Obviously with the reduction of our offseason and the things we used to do as coaches, I don’t think doing less of that is the right idea.”

[RELATED: Going to Bears Training Camp ’16 in Bourbonnais? Remember these four tips]

Training camp this year includes one of the shortest off-site stretches ever, with 10 sessions at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais and one at Soldier Field on Sat. Aug. 6.

Day, Date, Practice Time (CT)

Wednesday, July 27: Report day

Thursday, July 28: 9:35 a.m. practice (no pads)

Friday, July 29: 11:15 a.m. practice (no pads)

Saturday, July 30: 9:35 a.m. practice

Sunday, July 31: 11:15 a.m. practice

AUGUST

Day, Date, Practice Time (CT)

Monday, Aug. 1: 9:35 a.m. practice

Tuesday, Aug. 2: Off day

Wednesday, Aug. 3: 11:15 a.m. practice

Thursday, Aug. 4: 9:35 a.m. practice

Friday, Aug. 5: 11:15 a.m. practice

Saturday, Aug. 6: 12:30 p.m. Meijer Chicago Bears Family Fest (Soldier Field)

Sunday, Aug.7: Off day

Monday, Aug. 8: 11:15 a.m. practice

Tuesday, Aug. 9: 9:35 a.m. practice/final open practice

Wednesday, Aug. 10: Off day

Preseason Schedule:

Thursday, Aug. 11: Bears vs. Denver Broncos, 7 p.m.

Thursday,  Aug. 18: Bears at New England Patriots, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 27: Bears vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 12 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 1: Bears at Cleveland Browns, 7 p.m.

Going to Bears Training Camp ’16 in Bourbonnais? Remember these four tips

Going to Bears Training Camp ’16 in Bourbonnais? Remember these four tips

After covering some 25 Bears training camps spanning both Bourbonnais and Platteville, this CSNChicago.com reporter has gleaned some tips for getting the most out of the fan experience:

Appreciate the effort:

A lot of the young men you’ll be watching are living playing to realize a dream they’ve had since they were as young as some of the youngest fans. They are competing for jobs every day, every snap, and even going against teammates, the effort expended is worthy of the utmost respect. A guarantee: You WILL see something spectacular, whether from a star or some young hopeful who will leave it all and then some on that practice field. Enjoy the moment.

Be polite:

If you want autographs from players, your chances improve with a little courtesy. “Hey, Cutler…” and waving a pen and program at the Bears quarterback does not play nearly as well as “Jay, Jay…” or, if you’re a young fan and really want to stand out, “Mr. Cutler, Mr. Cutler…” Players don’t always get to hear a lot of “polite.” It doesn’t guarantee a signing, but understand that there’s no way players can sign every request and still have fully functioning limbs. And if a player doesn’t stop to sign, it’s not a snub. Most players sign every other day, so this just might be their off day for signing.

Plus, if it’s post-practice, remember that these players have just gone through at least two hours of beyond-max-effort work, wearing equipment that is anything but air-conditioned and weighs as much as a small child, and getting off their feet is a necessary survival skill.

[SHOP: Buy a Jay Cutler jersey here]

Go early:

The folks at Olivet Nazarene University do a truly amazing job of crowd and traffic control, but depending on the size of the crush, particularly on peak days, you may miss some field time getting into the parking lots if you’re getting there close to the start of practice. For another thing, players are typically on the field well ahead of the scheduled start times for practice, so you’ll be seeing players working and getting loosened up if you’re there early.

Understand the cadence and order:

Practices are not continuous scrimmaging and hitting. For one thing, that’s physically not possible, or smart. The Bears have individual sessions, then depending on the day, may come together for a “live” run scrimmage without receivers, followed by a less intense session, maybe some special teams, before or after very live pass-protection and receiver-DB head-to-heads, a break, then finishing with 11-on-11 “team” sessions.

Should the Bears bring Devin Hester back to Chicago?

Should the Bears bring Devin Hester back to Chicago?

The Atlanta Falcons released kick return specialist Devin Hester on Tuesday after just two seasons with the team. 

The former Bear and four-time Pro Bowl selection, who's best known for being one of the NFL's most dangerous return men, is now in the market for a new NFL job. 

So that begs the question, should the Bears entertain the idea of bringing Hester back to Chicago in 2016?

Hester, 33, has an NFL-record 20 touchdown returns over his 10 year career. However, he only had one return touchdown during his two years in Atlanta, and collected just two receiving touchdowns and one rushing score. 

It's safe to say the Bears aren't interested in Hester as a receiver, and who knows how much gas he has left in the tank, but he has certainly made an impact during his time in the Windy City.