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Bulls TV ratings post huge season-to-season gains on CSN

Bulls TV ratings post huge season-to-season gains on CSN

2014-15 Season Average Increased 56% for Households (up 111% for Adults 25-54) compared to ’13-’14;

CSN posted the second highest-rated regular season game in network history this season;

Significant Increases for “Bulls Pregame Live presented by Coors Light” & “Kia Bulls Postgame Live” 

Network’s first season of live streaming Bulls telecasts garnered over FIVE MILLION minutes consumed

Chicago, IL (April 16, 2015) – Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the 2015 NBA Playoffs-bound Chicago Bulls (3rd seed in Eastern Conference with a 50-32 regular season record), posted significant television ratings for the 2014-15 NBA regular season, which have resulted in massive season-to-season increases in overall households and in all key demographic ratings categories.  Plus - Comcast SportsNet’s Bulls Pregame Live presented by Coors Lite and Kia Bulls Postgame Live have also experienced solid year-to-year ratings increases, along with successful digital traffic numbers for the network’s inaugural season of live streaming game telecasts.

Comcast SportsNet’s game telecast ratings for the Chicago Bulls this regular season averaged a 4.71 household rating (approx. 163,781 Chicago market households watching per game)-- a 56% increase compared to last season’s 3.03 final average, which is an increase of 58,419 more Chicago market households tuning per game this season compared a year ago.

In addition, Comcast SportsNet also experienced massive year-to-year ratings increases in EVERY key advertiser demo category, including Adults 18-34 (up 140%)Adults 18-49 (up 107%)…Adults 25-54 (up 111%)…Men 18-34 (up 131%)Men 18-49 (up 89%)…and Men 25-54 (up 98%).  

On January 5 vs. Houston, Comcast SportsNet delivered its second-highest Bulls regular season game rating in network history with a 7.59 household rating (approx. 264,000 Chicago market households tuning in), peaking at a 10.0 (approx. 347,730 households tuning in).  All-time CSN regular season high rating for a Bulls game was an 8.73 vs. Indiana on January 25, 2012.

For its 42 telecasts during the 2014-15 NBA regular season, Comcast SportsNet’s Bulls game ratings averaged “at least” a 4.0 household rating on 31 occasions.  For all of last season (43 total games), only seven games reached at least a 4.0 average. Also among the 42 regular season game telecasts this season on CSN, 17 games reached “at least” a 5.0 household rating.

In addition to its ratings increases for its game telecasts, Comcast SportsNet’s Bulls Pregame Live presented by Coors Lite experienced a season-to-season household ratings increase of 24%, while Kia Bulls Postgame Live ratings increased 32%.  Source for all television ratings information is provided by Nielsen Media Research. 

From a digital standpoint, Comcast SportsNet’s first season of live streaming its Bulls game telecasts on a variety of platforms experienced solid traffic thus far, as over FIVE MILLION total minutes have been consumed by Bulls fans choosing to access the games on CSNChicago.com and via NBA Sports’ Live Extra app.  On January 27 (Bulls at Golden State), the network enjoyed its highest digital traffic numbers to date as it was the most streamed game overall in minutes watched (326K), along with being the most streamed game in visits (5.8K) and live starts (12K).  Source for all digital traffic information is provided by Adobe Reports & Analytics.

Comcast SportsNet will begin its comprehensive 2015 NBA Playoffs “Hometown Call” coverage – featuring the Bulls in first round action against the division rival Milwaukee Bucks – starting this Saturday, April 18 at 5:00 PM CT with an expanded, one-hour edition of Bulls Pregame Live presented by Coors Lite hosted by Mark Schanowski and Will Perdue. Game 1 tip-off gets underway at 6:00 PM featuring the expert play-by-play and analysis of Neil Funk and Stacey King. 

In addition -- for the first time ever -- Comcast SportsNet’s live first round Bulls NBA Playoffs telecasts, including surrounding Bulls Pre/Postgame Live coverage, will be streamed live on CSNChicago.com and available via the NBC Sports Live Extra app on tablets and smart phones.  Authenticated Comcast SportsNet Chicago subscribers can watch live Bulls playoffs action from anywhere in the United States.  The live streaming service is currently available to customers of Comcast/Xfinity, DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-verse, Mediacom, RCN, and Cedar Falls (IA) Utilities.  For more information about CSN Chicago’s live streaming service of Bulls games, viewers are urged to visit the following link: csnchicago.com/page/live-extra-faq.

In addition, fans are urged to visit CSNChicago.com for up-to-the-minute Bulls playoffs news, live video stream of every Bulls post-game press conference, “Insider” reports from Vincent Goodwill (@vgoodwill), “Bulls Pulse” social media page, game previews/recaps/highlights, stats, and much more.  Fans can also follow Comcast SportsNet’s Bulls/NBA Playoffs coverage 24/7 on Twitter @CSNBulls and fans are urged to interact and have their voice heard throughout the playoffs by utilizing the hashtag #BullsTalk.

Ever wonder what a Portillo's soccer jersey would look like?

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@JTHAZZARD

Ever wonder what a Portillo's soccer jersey would look like?

Portillo's has become a staple in the Chicagoland area due to its popular hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches and now, its soccer jerseys.

OK, maybe one of these does not belong with the others. Regardless, Twitter user @JTHazzard created mock-up soccer jerseys mashing MLS teams and restaurants based in that team's city, and the Portillo's jersey is sweet. 

From the Portillo's logo taking center-stage to the picnic blanket pattern to the discrete Chicago Fire logo, this jersey is absolutely brilliant. The only change this writer would make is including the logo below instead.

Valspar is the current sponsor featured on the Fire's uniforms. If the team ever needs a new sponsor, though, Portillo's would be an excellent replacement.

The White Sox sent down Carson Fulmer, so why isn't Lucas Giolito receiving the same treatment?

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AP

The White Sox sent down Carson Fulmer, so why isn't Lucas Giolito receiving the same treatment?

Lucas Giolito is having a rough go of things in his second year with the White Sox.

He came into the season with some pretty high expectations after posting a 2.38 ERA in seven starts at the end of the 2017 campaign and then dominating during spring training. But he’s done anything but dominate since this season started, and after one of his worst outings in Thursday’s 9-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, he’s got a 7.53 ERA in 10 starts in 2018.

Giolito stuck around for only four outs Thursday, but he allowed the Orioles to do plenty of damage, giving up seven runs on six hits — two of which were back-to-back home runs to start the second inning — and three walks. He leads the American League with his 37 walks.

“I take what I do very seriously. I work as hard as I can at it,” Giolito said. “So when I experience failure like this, it’s kind of hard to deal with. All I can do is come back tomorrow, keep working on things and hopefully have a better one.”

All of Giolito’s struggles have fans wondering why the White Sox haven’t sent him down to Triple-A to work on his craft.

“I don’t foresee that at this particular time,” Rick Renteria said when asked if Giolito could be sent to Triple-A. “I think he’s just a young man who’s got to continue to minimize the emotional aspect of crossing from preparation into the game and staying focused, relaxed and hammer the zone with strikes. And truthfully it’s just first-pitch strike and get after the next one.”

The White Sox have already sent one young pitcher down in Carson Fulmer, who was having a nightmarish time at the big league level. Fulmer’s results were worse than Giolito’s on a regular basis. He got sent down after posting an 8.07 ERA in nine outings.

But hasn’t Giolito suffered through command issues enough to warrant some time away from the major league limelight? According to his manager, Giolito’s situation is vastly different than Fulmer’s.

“I don’t see them anywhere near each other,” Renteria said. “They’re two different competitors in terms of the outcomes that they’ve had. Lucas has at least had situations in which he might have struggled early and been able to gain some confidence through the middle rounds of his start and continue to propel himself to finish some ballgames, give us six or seven innings at times. So it’s two different guys.

“With Gio, I expect that we would have a nice clean start from the beginning, but when he doesn’t I still feel like if he gets through it he’ll settle down and continue to hammer away at what he needs to do in order to get deeper into a ballgame, and that was a little different with Carson. With Carson it was right from the get-go he was struggling, and he had a difficult time extending his outings after the third or fourth because it just kept getting too deep into his pitch count and not really hammering the strike zone as much.”

Renteria is not wrong. Giolito has had a knack to take a rough beginning to a start and turn it into five or six innings. Notably, he gave up a couple first-inning runs and walked seven hitters and still got the win against the Cubs a week and a half ago. And while his first-inning ERA is 10.80 and his second-inning ERA is 12.54, he’s pitched into at least the sixth inning in seven of his 10 starts.

Renteria’s point is that Giolito is learning how to shake off early damage and achieving the goal, most times out, of eating up innings and keeping his team in the game. Those are a couple valuable qualities to develop for a young pitcher. But are those the lone qualities that determine that Giolito is suited to continue his learning process at the major league level? His command remains a glaring problem, and both he and Renteria admitted that his problems are more mental than physical.

“The one thing everyone has to understand is we have to go beyond the physical and attack a little bit more of the mental and emotional and try to connect and slow that down,” Renteria said. “Those aspects are the ones that ultimately, at times, deal in the derailment of the physical action. So if we can kind of calm that down a little bit.

“He’s very focused. Giolito is high intensity. Nice kid but high-intensity young man when he gets on the mound. You might not believe it. He’s going 100 mph. So I think it goes to more just trusting himself, trusting the process, taking it truthfully one pitch at a time.”

Well, if a demotion to the minors isn’t likely, what about moving Giolito to the bullpen? Carlos Rodon and Chris Sale dipped their toes in bullpen waters before moving to the rotation. Could a reversal of that strategy help Giolito?

Well, the current state of the White Sox starting rotation — Fulmer in the minors, Miguel Gonzalez on the 60-day DL and pitchers like James Shields, Hector Santiago and Dylan Covey, who aren’t exactly long-term pieces, getting a lot of starts — doesn’t really allow for another piece to be removed.

“I know they have done it with Rodon and Sale,” Renteria said. “The difference is we don’t have the makeup of the starting rotation that those clubs had in order to put those guys in the ‘pen. We are in a different situation right now. Moving forward, is that something we can possibly do? Absolutely. It has been done with very good success.

“Right now we are in truly discovery mode and adjustment mode and adapting and trying to do everything we can to get these guys to develop their skill sets to be very usable and effective at the major league level and we are doing it to the best of our ability.”

There could be promise in the fact that Giolito has turned a season around as recently as last year. Before he was impressing on the South Side in August and September, he was struggling at Triple-A Charlotte. Even after he ironed things out, things had gotten off to a rocky enough start that he owned a 4.48 ERA and 10 losses when he was called up to the bigs.

It doesn’t seem Giolito will be going back to Charlotte, unless things continue to go in a dramatically poor direction. Right now, these are just more of the growing pains during this rebuilding process. “The hardest part of the rebuild” doesn’t just means wins and losses. It means watching some players struggle through speed bumps as they continue to develop into what the White Sox hope they’ll be when this team is ready to compete.