WTVO is the ABC affiliate in Rockford, Ill., owned by Mission Broadcasting, and is the sister station to WQRF, the Fox affiliate owned by Nexstar, through a shared services agreement.
In January of 2015, WTVO-WQRF launched the area’s first locally-produced, half-hour game show featuring 22 academic teams from local area high schools in a test of knowledge.
“Within a few weeks of the show’s premiere, word had spread quickly, and we were bombarded by requests from academic teams across the region asking how they could get involved for Season Two,” said Kelly Lattimer, WQRF, general manager.
“It’s time to expand the brand statewide,” said Lattimer.
“We’ve heard from numerous academic coaches that our show is well-known in scholastic bowl circles. We’re told that kids and coaches from academic teams in other markets are envious and wish they had a show like ours. So, we decided it was time to give folks across the state the opportunity to experience what Rockford has been doing the past three years.”
Eight top academic teams from across the state will be invited to compete in the Bergstrom Stateline Quiz Bowl Tournament of Champions.
The Tournament of Champions will be played April 28 and 29 in the historic Nordlof Center in downtown Rockford. All matches will be recorded live to tape and will air for eight consecutive weeks May 26 to July 15.
WTVO-WQRF anchor Eric Wilson will be the show’s host.
Network affiliates include WCUU Chicago, WCIX Champaign, WMBD Peoria, WHBF Quad Cities and WTVO-WQRF Rockford.
Specific telecast dates and times in each market are yet to be determined.
The Bergstrom Stateline Quiz Bowl recently celebrated its 100th episode.
“We couldn’t have done one show, much less 100, without the schools taking part and the support of our great sponsors,” said Lattimer.
To help celebrate 100 episodes, Nexstar has announced that during the Season Four finale on May 18, it will award each member of the winning team a $1,000 grant. Students participating on the second-place team will take home $500.
Click here to read how a Nexstar station in Phoenix started its own version of a high school quiz show.
Click here to read how WTVO started the high school quiz show back in January of 2015.
NOTE: Tim Busch, Nexstar Broadcasting president, says WTVO’s high school quiz show was shared at Nexstar’s general managers meeting last year as an example of “best practices,” and says multiple Nexstar markets are reviewing it.
“We’ve encouraged our other GMs to consider it for their market. And I think you’ll see it roll out in its own time. Rest assured there will be other markets that will pick it up. They can do something that’s unique and different and it’s all about local.”