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The Detroit Lions Television Network is a network of six of television stations in Michigan that broadcast the NFL's Detroit Lions pre-season games, as well as the syndicated weekly show The Ford Lions Report during the regular season. Every market in Michigan has an affiliate, so all Lions fans in Michigan can watch it no matter where they live. Coincidentally, all stations are either Fox or CBS affiliates, the networks which usually air Lions games during the regular season.

The stations in the network and the areas they serve are:

Contents

Pre-season games

The network broadcasts all pre-season games. The announcers are Matt Shepard on play-by-play and Desmond Howard with color commentary. Lions Hall of Famer Charlie Sanders and Steve Courtney host the pre-game show Countdown to Kickoff (which is only shown on the flagship station WWJ-TV) the halftime show Lions Halftime Report, and provide sideline reports. Because of the NFL's local television blackout policy, Lions home games that do not sell out 72 hours before the game are not permitted to be broadcast live on stations whose normal coverage area is within 75 miles of the stadium (specifically WWJ-TV, WNEM-TV, and WSYM-TV) so they are broadcast on tape delay. However, all Lions road games are broadcast live on all stations. The graphics are nearly identical to those used on NFL on CBS regular season games, except with the WWJ-TV logo (and / or the Lions logo) in place of the NFL on CBS logo.

The Ford Lions Report

The Ford Lions Report
Genre American football
Starring Matt Shepard (host)
Jim Schwartz
Julian Peterson
various Detroit Lions players
Language(s) English
Production
Location(s) Detroit Lions headquarters in Allen Park, Michigan
Remote features shot throughout Metro Detroit
Running time 30 minutes (minus commercials)
Broadcast
Original channel syndicated throughout Michigan
Also nationwide on NFL Sunday Ticket
Picture format 480i
External links
Official website

During the regular season, the stations that make up the network carry the half-hour weekly show The Ford Lions Report, hosted by Matt Shepard. Each episode begins with a interview with linebacker Julian Peterson, followed by one with another Lions player. Other segments include Inside 222 Republic Drive, hosted by Julian Peterson which contains a locker room question and answer segment with various players. Also is an interview with head coach Jim Schwartz, which has the segment Coach Schwartz's Top 5, in which he does a countdown of his favorite 5 things of a particular subject such as "Favorite Vacation Spots" or "Favorite Horror Movies". Other portions of the program include feature stories about the Lions' charity work and community involvement. Each show ends with Wired For Sound: the previous game's highlights with audio from the announcers of the Detroit Lions Radio Network dubbed over the TV announcers, and sideline soundbites from players and coaches reacting to them.
The program is somewhat of a pre-game show since it is shown on Sunday mornings on most affiliates, however it is produced several days in advance, as opposed to other pre-game shows which are broadcast live.

The air times are as follows (all times Eastern):

  • WWJ-TV - Sundays 11:30 AM
  • WNEM-TV - Sundays 7:00 AM
  • WFQX-TV - Sundays 11:30 AM
  • WXMI-TV - Sundays 11:30 AM
  • WSYM-TV - Sundays 11:30 AM
  • WJMN-TV - Saturdays 7:30 AM
  • The program can also be seen nationally on DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket package at 11:30 AM ET Sundays on the channel dedicated to that day's Lions game.

All times are subject to change. Check local listings.

Lions coverage on other stations

Currently, Detroit stations WJBK, WDIV and WXYZ-TV carry some live press conferences, although they are usually aired in portions and not in their entirety.

For regular season games vs NFC opponents when Fox doesn't have a double header, WJBK produces a live postgame show.

Former broadcasters

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Former telecasters

WKBD-TV was the flagship station of the network from 1992 to 1996, and again from 2004 to 2007. WDIV-TV and WJBK-TV also served as the flagships at various times.

WJBK (channel 2) has been the Fox affiliate in Detroit since December 1994, before that it was a CBS affiliate, and as such, WJBK for many years has served as the primary station for most Lions games. For much of 1994, while WJBK was waiting for its CBS affiliation contract to expire, the Lions games were shown on WKBD-TV (at the time owned by Viacom, now owned by CBS as a sister to WWJ-TV), with the last game being the December 10 game against the New York Jets, on WKBD's last day as a Fox affiliate.

Interconference home games were first televised in 1973 (when the NFL first imposed the 72-hour deadline), and for 25 years these were seen on NBC, with WDIV (channel 4, originally WWJ-TV) airing the games locally. The current WWJ-TV (originally on analog channel 62) has aired such games since 1998, when the AFC contract moved to CBS.

Former announcers

Past TV announcers include:

Former Lions shows

Fox Sports Detroit once had a show called Lions Live, a live post-game show immediately following regular season games, as well as live coverage of the head coach's Monday press conference. The postgame show was hosted by Mickey York, alongside analyst and former Lion Rob Rubick. The Monday press conference was hosted by Matt Shepard and Detroit Free Press sports writer and Lions beat reporter Nick Cotsonika. Fox Sports Detroit canceled the show after the 2007 season to avoid conflicts with other local sports coverage, when they gained a new exclusive long term contract with the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Pistons, and Detroit Red Wings in March 2008.[3]

See also

References


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