Catching Bears

NBC-owned WMAQ-TV has signed up for three years of pre-season Bears football games that previously were broadcast by ABC’s WLS-TV, which dominates every daypart in this market with the exception of the 10 p.m. news. WMAQ and WLS recently butted heads when the ABC station disputed the No. 1 spot in late news awarded to WMAQ in the November sweeps by Nielsen and Arbitron.

“This is another instance when we went head to head with them and came out the winner,” said Nick Aronson, WMAQ’s director of communications. “It’s one more thing that WLS has lost.”

Aronson said he doesn’t expect the pre-season games to bring heaping mounds of profit to WMAQ (the Bears regular season games are licensed to CBS), but he believes the acquisition will boost the station’s morale and enhance its image with viewers. WLS did not return phone calls.

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