Source: NewsCast Studio
Making use of their soon-to-be-finished broadcast studio at Halas Hall, the Chicago Bears will debut a new weekly half-hour TV show this fall on Fox station WFLD-TV/Channel 32 and WPWR-TV/Channel 50.
"Inside the Bears," a feature-focused program that "will be more personality-driven than x's and o's," says Bears Vice President of Communications Scott Hagel, will be produced at the team's new 4,000-square-foot studio addition at the Lake Forest facility; it'll be hosted by former Bears defensive tackle Anthony Adams, with a female co-host still to be determined.
The show marks the first in-house production by the team that will run year-round, adding to a list of seasonal programs that includes "Bears Gameday Live," "Bears Gamenight Live" and "Bears Blitz," among others.
"The football calendar is such that there's always something to talk about," Mr. Hagel said. "And the studio adds an element of flexibility to do stuff like this."
Many of the team's other broadcast productions have been shot using the WFLD-TV studio orComcast SportsNet Chicago's studio. Going forward, all shows will feature elements produced at Halas Hall.
"Inside the Bears" will air during the season on WFLD-TV following "Bears Gamenight Live" on Sundays and at 10:35 p.m. Sunday nights during the off-season. It will also air year-round on WPWR-TV at 6 p.m. on Saturdays and at various times on Saturday afternoons through the year adjacent to WFLD's sports programming.
Mr. Hagel says the team is working on developing other show concepts that can be produced at the studio for TV or the team's website, but executives will first measure the response to "Inside the Bears."
"We want to walk before we run and want to make sure it's successful," he said, adding that "Inside the Bears" is off to a good start, having landed Jimmy John's as its presenting sponsor.
The team's new broadcast studio is part of a 30,000-square-foot addition it's building on the south end of Halas Hall, where the team has practiced since 1997.
That addition, for which the team is hoping to sell naming rights, will include an area for a live audience of about 150 people. It's expected to be finished by September.
The Bears are following a trend of teams bringing media production in-house as editing equipment has become cheaper and easier to use.
The Chicago Blackhawks, for example, have developed a major audience for "Blackhawks TV,"a series of features, shows, vignettes and documentaries showcasing the personality of the team and raising the bar for professional sports teams' in-house production.
The Bears are taking a similar tack with their new studio, hoping to reinforce their coverage with compelling content that helps shape how their customers view the team.
"The fans' appetite demands it," Mr. Hagel said. "We're at a point where we can handle a workload that goes with producing something year-round."