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SHAWN MICHAELS TO ENTER WWE HALL OF FAME

January 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

World Wrestling Entertainment® announced today that one of the greatest Superstars to ever perform for WWE, “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels, will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year. The induction ceremony will take place on Saturday, April 2 at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA, the evening before WrestleMania® XXVII.

“Shawn Michaels was the best in-ring performer in the history of WWE,” said Vince McMahon, Chairman and CEO.

Shawn Michaels had one of the most storied careers in the annals of World Wrestling Entertainment. He held every major championship over his 23 year career with the sports entertainment company. In addition to his “HBK” moniker and as one half of
“D-Generation X®,” Michaels earned the nickname “Mr. WrestleMania” due to his numerous memorable matches at the annual, pop culture extravaganza. Fittingly, Michaels’ final match took place last March at WrestleMania XXVI, losing to The Undertaker® in an epic match where he put his career on the line.

Tickets go on sale for the 2011 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony this Saturday, January 15 at 10 AM ET and are available through the Philips Arena Box Office, www.ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster outlets or by calling Ticketmaster Charge By Phone at 1-800-745-3000.

About World Wrestling Entertainment
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family-friendly, PG content across all of its platforms including television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing. WWE programming is broadcast in more than 145 countries and 30 languages and reaches more than 500 million homes worldwide. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Shanghai, Tokyo, Toronto and Sydney.

 

“SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL” RAMS-SEAHAWKS EARNS BEST OVERNIGHT RATING IN NEARLY A DECADE FOR NFL’S SEASON-ENDING GAME

January 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

12.6 Overnight Tops Last Year’s Season-Ending Game by 11%

SNF Powers NBC to Another Sunday Night Win

NEW YORK – January 3, 2011 – Last night’s “Sunday Night Football” game earned the best overnight rating in nearly a decade for the NFL’s season-ending game, including the best overnight for a Week 17 game in SNF history, and was up 11 percent over last year’s Week 17 game, according to overnight data released today by the Nielsen Company. The game, in which the Seattle Seahawks defeated the St. Louis Rams 16-6 in a ‘win-and-in’ contest to clinch the NFC West title, registered a 12.6 overnight rating and a 19 share.

* The 12.6/19 overnight rating is the best overnight rating in nine years for the NFL’s season-ending game (since 1/7/02, Min-Bal on ABC, 13.4/21).

* The overnight rating is an increase of 11 percent over last year’s Week 17 SNF (Bengals-Jets, 11.4/18) and is the highest season-ending overnight rating in the five-year history of “Sunday Night Football.”

* The rating peaked at a 13.4/23 from 11-11:15 p.m. ET at the end of the game.

NFL SEASON-ENDING GAME OVERNIGHTS SINCE 2001

2010 1/2/2011 NBC StL-Sea 12.6 19

2009 1/3/2010 NBC Cin-NYJ 11.4 18

2008 12/28/2008 NBC Den-SD 10.6 17

2007 12/30/2007 NBC Ten-Ind 11.6 19

2006 12/31/2006 NBC GB-Chi 8.7 17

2005 12/26/2005 ABC NE-NYJ 10.5 18

2004 12/27/2004 ABC Phi-StL 11.7 19

2003 12/22/2003 ABC GB-Oak 12.1 19

2002 12/30/2002 ABC SF-StL 9.6 15

2001 1/7/2002 ABC Min-Bal 13.4 21

DEFEATED ALL SUNDAY NIGHT COMPETITION: Last night’s “Sunday Night Football” broadcast defeated all Sunday Night competition, the 17th straight week that primetime NFL football on NBC defeated its competition, on a night that included such competition as CBS’s 60 Minutes, ABC’s Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters, and Fox’s comedy lineup.

* “Sunday Night Football” powered NBC to a Sunday night win in primetime (7-11 p.m.), topping second place CBS (which was aided by an NFL overrun) by 23 percent. NBC also beat Fox (also aided by NFL overrun) by 58 percent and ABC by the same 58 percent.

SNF EXPECTED TO FINISH SEASON UNDEFEATED: When the viewership is available tomorrow from Nielsen, “Sunday Night Football” is expected to be the most-watched Sunday night show; the 17th time in 17 weeks that “Sunday Night Football” defeated its competition (every week this season). When adding in the NFL Kickoff opener on Thursday, Sept. 9 between the Vikings and Saints, the franchise went undefeated on 18 of 18 nights. Last season, SNF was the most-watched Sunday night primetime broadcast in a then-record 15 of 16 (94 percent) weeks. In 2008, SNF won 13 of 16 (81 percent) Sunday nights after winning 11 of 16 in 2007 (69 percent) and nine of 16 in 2006 (56 percent).

TOP METERED MARKETS FOR RAMS-SEAHAWKS:

1. St. Louis, 38.7/53
2. Seattle, 35.4/58
3. New Orleans, 22.9/31
4. Las Vegas, 20.1/29
5. Oklahoma City, 19.0/27
6. Tulsa, 18.3/24
7. Baltimore, 16.7/25
8. Milwaukee, 16.0/24
9. Portland, 15.6/26
10. Norfolk, 15.4/22

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WINTER CLASSIC PROGRAMMING CHANGE

December 31, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

2011 BRIDGESTONE NHL WINTER CLASSIC MOVING TO PRIMETIME WITH 8 P.M. ET START TIME DUE TO WEATHER

ADDITIONAL WINTER CLASSIC PROGRAMMING TO FILL ORIGINAL 1-4 P.M. ET WINDOW

NEW YORK – December 31, 2010 – Due to expected steady rain throughout tomorrow afternoon, the NHL has announced that the start time of the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will change from 1 p.m. ET to 8 p.m. ET. NBC Sports will still fill the original Winter Classic programming window of 1-4 p.m. ET with Winter Classic content such as live interviews and taped coverage of previous Winter Classics.

NBC SPORTS’ UPDATED NEW YEAR’S DAY PROGRAMMING

1-4 p.m. ET            Winter Classic Programming

4-6 p.m. ET            ADT Skills Challenge (golf)

8 p.m. ET            2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic

OFFICIAL NHL STATEMENT: The National Hockey League announced today the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will change the original 1 p.m. (ET) start time on New Year’s Day to 8 p.m. (ET).  The decision was based on the latest meteorological reports, which have advised an approaching front of potentially steady rain expected to fall through the afternoon and taper off by early evening, and after consultation with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Washington Capitals, national broadcast partners (NBC, CBC, RDS), the Pittsburgh Steelers, the National Hockey League Players’ Association, and local officials.

We have been further advised that cooler and drier air conditions are expected in the evening with the passing of the front.  The NHL feels that it was important to make this announcement at this time so as to minimize the inconvenience to all parties associated with the event, especially our fans.

All 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic tickets will continue to be honored and all ticket holder agreement language remains unchanged.

 

THE MOST PATRIOTIC SHOW OF THE YEAR, “WWE TRIBUTE TO THE TROOPS®,” COMES TO NBC SATURDAY, DECEMBER 18TH AT 9 PM ET

November 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

NEW YORK – November 9, 2010 – World Wrestling Entertainment®, in conjunction with NBC, will honor the United States Armed Forces with its third annual telecast of its holiday special, “WWE Tribute to the Troops.” This year, top WWE Superstars and Divas will travel to Fort Hood, Texas to entertain the nearly 350,000 military personnel, family members, and civilians that make up the largest active duty armored post in the United States Armed Services. Thousands of men and women from Fort Hood have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The hour-long special will air Saturday, December 18 (9-10 p.m. ET / 8-9 p.m. CT) on NBC.

“WWE Tribute to the Troops” will chronicle WWE Superstars and Divas visiting Fort Hood to meet with the troops and their families this holiday season, culminating with a special live in-ring performance in front of thousands of military personnel. In the grand tradition of Bob Hope, this year’s show will feature appearances by The View’s Sherri Shepherd and Miss USA, Rima Fakih, and performances by special musical guests and a comedian to be announced in the upcoming weeks.

In keeping with the spirit of “Tribute to the Troops” of bringing a little piece of Americana to our men and women overseas, WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon along with WWE Superstars Kelly Kelly®, Big Show®, and Eve™ will also head to Afghanistan on a goodwill tour in early December. This tour will be highlighted on the special.

This trip marks the eighth consecutive year that WWE will bring its one of a kind entertainment to our service men and women to thank them for their commitment to the country and recognition of their sacrifices. “WWE Tribute to the Troops” has become a holiday tradition and is considered TV’s most patriotic and heartwarming show of the year.

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family-friendly, PG content across all of its platforms including television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing. WWE programming is broadcast in more than 145 countries and 30 languages and reaches more than 500 million homes worldwide. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Toronto and Mexico City. Additional information on World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. For information on our global activities, go to http://www.wwe.com/worldwide/.

 

JUSTIN BIEBER DEBUTS WORLD PREMIERE VIDEO DURING WORLD SERIES GAME 3 PREGAME ON FOX

October 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Coverage Being Saturday at 6:30 PM ET – The Earliest for WS Game Since 1987

Kelly Clarkson, RAISING HOPE’s Martha Plimpton Perform During Game 3

FOX Sports presents the world premiere of pop music sensation Justin Bieber’s new music video this Saturday, October 30th, prior to the start of Game 3 of the World Series on FOX. The video is for special acoustic version of his hit single “Never Say Never” off his upcoming album due out at the end of November. Coverage begins at a special start time of 6:30 PM ET.

Bieber filmed the video this week at Angels Stadium in Anaheim and saluted the World Series participants by wearing gear of both the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers during the shoot. The world premiere of the acoustic version of “Never Say Never” airs during the World Series pregame that begins at 6:30 PM ET. This marks the earliest start time of a World Series game in 23 years.

In addition, Texas native and American Idol Season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson sings the National Anthem prior to Game 3 in Arlington. Martha Plimpton, star of FOX’s hit comedy RAISING HOPE, performs God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch.

Also during the broadcast, FOX Sports and MLB unveil the winners of their joint initiative, THE WORLD SERIES OF COSTUMES. Thousands of fans submitted photos of their children, 12 & under, in Halloween costumes and the three winners appear during the Saturday night’s World Series broadcast. The photo contest was judged by AMERICAN IDOL’s Randy Jackson and Ryan Seacrest. Log onto www.mlb.com/halloween for more information.

 

BEST SEASON OPENING SUN/MON PRIMETIME OVERNIGHT RATING IN 13 YEARS

September 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

NEW YORK – Sept. 13, 2010 – Last night’s “Sunday Night Football” opener featuring the Cowboys vs. Redskins on NBC Sports had the best overnight for any Week 1 (Sunday or Monday*) primetime game in 13 years, was up 24 percent over last year’s SNF opener and is the top rated “Sunday Night Football” game ever according to overnight data released today by The Nielsen Company.

The Redskins 13-7 victory over the Cowboys earned a 16.6 overnight rating and 26 share (8:30-11:45 p.m. ET), the best overnight for any Week 1 (Sunday or Monday) primetime game since Sept. 1, 1997 (Bears-Packers, 16.7/27) and the best “Sunday Night Football” overnight rating since the NFL’s premier primetime package returned to NBC in 2006, surpassing such games as the original “Manning Bowl” in 2006 (14.7/23) and last year’s opening of the new Cowboys Stadium (16.5/27). Full list below.

*The only primetime NFL broadcast to have a higher overnight rating than last night’s game dating back to 1997 was Thursday’s NFL Kickoff game between the Vikings and Saints which drew a 17.7/28 overnight.

The 16.6/26 is up 24 percent over last year’s SNF season opener (Bears-Packers, 13.4/22).  The rating peaked at a 17.9/33 from 11:30-11:45 p.m. ET.

BACK TO FOOTBALL: NBC’s two-game overnight average of a 17.1/27 is the best since the NFL created the Thursday/Sunday primetime weekend in 2002 and is up 26 percent over last year’s 13.6/23 for the opening weekend on NBC.

DOMINATED PRIMETIME: From 8:30-11 p.m., “Sunday Night Football” averaged a 16.5/25, 346 percent higher than second place CBS (3.7/6).  NBC beat the combined primetime averages of CBS, Fox (3.0/4) and ABC (2.4/4) by 84 percent.

NBC’s 12.4/20 from 7-11 p.m. in metered-market households is the highest Sunday average for any networks since ABC televised the Academy Awards on March 7.

TOP 10 “SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL” OVERNIGHT RATING/SHARE EVER:

*Sunday’s only

1. 9/12/10, Cowboys-Redskins            16.6/26 (Last Night’s Game)

2. 9/20/09, Giants-Cowboys                 16.5/27 (Dallas Cowboys Stadium Debut)

3. 11/25/07, Eagles-Patriots                   15.6/24

4. 12/14/08, Giants-Cowboys                15.4/24

T5. 11/15/09, Patriots-Colts                   15.1/24

T5. 11/5/06, Colts-Patriots                    15.1/22

7. 9/10/06, Colts-Giants                        14.7/23 (“Manning Bowl I”)

8. 9/21/08, Cowboys-Packers               14.4/22

9. 11/8/09, Cowboys-Eagles                14.3/23

10. 12/13/09, Eagles-Giants                 13.8/22

WEEK ONE “SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL” GAMES:

9/12/10, Cowboys-Redskins                16.6/26

9/10/06, Colts-Giants                           14.7/23 (“Manning Bowl I”)

9/9/07, Giants-Cowboys                       13.6/22

9/13/09, Bears-Packers                        13.4/22

9/7/08, Bears-Colts                             13.0/20

TOP 10 METERED MARKETS FOR BEARS-PACKERS:

1. Dallas                       39.6/58

2. Washington, D.C.     37.2/57

3. San Antonio            32.9/44

4. Richmond                 32.1/46

5. Norfolk                    30.5/43

6. Austin                       26.3/39

7. New Orleans            25.3/34

8. Baltimore                  22.6/34

9. Charlotte                  21.6/33

10. Albuquerque            21.1/31

Interestingly, it is rare that markets not in the Top 10 score overnight ratings of more than a 20, but that was the case last night for Oklahoma City (20.1/29) and Nashville (20.0/29).  Additionally, Philadelphia with a 19.7/29, ranked 14th.

*The San Francisco, Cincinnati and Louisville markets have been delayed by Nielsen

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“NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL” KICKS OFF 2010 SEASON WITH HALL OF FAME GAME, COWBOYS VS. BENGALS, SUNDAY AT 8 PM ET

August 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

NEW YORK – August 4, 2010 – “NBC Sunday Night Football” will make its 2010 season debut with the Hall of Fame Game between the defending NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys and the AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals from Canton, Ohio, Sunday at 8 pm. ET. Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth will have the call from Canton with Andrea Kremer handling the reporting duties.

The NFL will open this season on NBC, Thursday, Sept. 9, with the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints hosting the NFC North champion Minnesota Vikings, who the Saints defeated in the NFC Championship game last season, 31-28. The first “NBC Sunday Night Football” contest of the season is a classic NFC East rivalry as the Washington Redskins with their new QB Donovan McNabb and head coach Mike Shanahan host Tony Romo and the NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys.

NBC’s second “Sunday Night Football” preseason tilt has the San Francisco 49ers hosting the defending NFC North champion Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Aug. 22.

HALFTIME FROM CANTON: At halftime from Canton, Al Michaels will interview Hall-of-Fame inductee Emmitt Smith while Collinsworth interviews Hall-of-Fame inductee Jerry Rice.

BENGALS AND COWBOYS IN HALL OF FAME GAME: The Cowboys are a career 0-3 in the Hall of Fame Game with losses to the Browns in 1999, the Raiders in 1979 and the Bears back in 1968. This is just the third appearance for the Bengals in the Hall of Fame Game and the first since 1988 when they beat the Los Angeles Rams. The Bengals are 1-1 all-time in the Hall of Fame Game having lost to the Redskins back in 1975.

This game marks the first time that new Bengals WR Terrell Owens will face the Cowboys, the team he played for from 2006-2008. Owens surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in each of his seasons with Dallas.

EA SPORTS MADDEN NFL 11 PIGSKIN PRO-AM, SUNDAY AT 7 PM, ET:

Before the Cowboys and Bengals meet in the Hall of Fame game, EA SPORTS, NFL and NBC Sports get fans back to football with the second annual EA SPORTS Madden NFL 11 Pigskin Pro-Am on Sunday at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC.

NFL legends join forces with Hollywood celebrities in this exciting, action-packed, high-scoring flag football game, complete with last-second drama. The Pigskin Pro-Am took place in Malibu, California on Thursday, July 22.

Fans can tune in to see “Montana-To-Rice” one more time, when Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana leads The Gamers with member of the Hall of Fame class of 2010 Jerry Rice as well as “Access Hollywood’s” correspondent Maria Menounos as she takes home the game’s coveted Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. On the other side of the ball, Super Bowl XXXIV MVP Kurt Warner, Hall of Fame DB Rod Woodson and host of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” Craig Robinson are a few of the stars that make up The Famers squad.

“SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL” 2010 SEASON:

Three appearances each by six marquee NFL teams, the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers; a rematch of the NFC Championship Game as the Super Bowl XLIV champion New Orleans Saints host the Minnesota Vikings in the opening Thursday night game; the “Manning Bowl” rematch in Week 2; and storied rivalries including three NFC East games, Chargers-Colts, Vikings-Packers at Lambeau, Steelers-Ravens and Jets-Dolphins highlight the “NBC Sunday Night Football” schedule.

Highlights of “NBC Sunday Night Football” schedule:

* Sixteen of NBC’s 17 scheduled games involve at least one playoff team from last season; eight of 17 include two playoff teams.

* Fourteen of the 17 teams playing on “Sunday Night Football” had .500 or better records.

* Three appearances from six marquee teams: Colts (vs. Giants, Redskins, Chargers), Cowboys (Redskins, Packers, Eagles), Eagles (49ers, Giants, Cowboys), Giants (Colts, Bears, Eagles), Packers (Vikings, Cowboys, Patriots) and Steelers (Saints, Patriots, Ravens).

* A rematch of last year’s NFC Championship game between the Vikings and Saints to kickoff the NFL season on Thursday night, Sept. 9.

* Peyton and Eli meet in the anticipated rematch of the “Manning Bowl” when the Giants and Colts face off in Week 2. They last met in the network debut of “Sunday Night Football” in 2006 in a game that was seen by 22.6 million viewers, the third-most ever in the history of “Sunday Night Football.” Six SNF games involve one of the Manning brothers.

* A matchup of two of the oldest NFL teams when the Bears and Giants meet in Week 4 in the New Meadowlands Stadium. The Bears-Giants rivalry dates back to 1925.

* Three matchups among bitter NFC East rivals: Cowboys-Redskins, Giants-Eagles, and Eagles-Cowboys.

* The first “NBC Sunday Night Football” trips to New Orleans, Cincinnati, San Francisco and Miami.

2010 “NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL” SCHEDULE

Pre Season

Sun. Aug. 8 – Hall of Fame Game: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Dallas Cowboys, Canton, Ohio, 8 p.m.

Sun. Aug. 22 – Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers, 8 p.m.

Regular Season – Football Night in America begins every Sunday at 7 p.m. ET

Thurs. Sept. 9 NFL Kickoff Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints

Sun. Sept. 12 Week 1 Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins

Sun. Sept. 19 Week 2 New York Giants at Indianapolis Colts

Sun. Sept. 26 Week 3 New York Jets at Miami Dolphins

Sun. Oct. 3 Week 4 Chicago Bears at New York Giants

Sun. Oct. 10 Week 5 Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers

Sun. Oct. 17 Week 6 Indianapolis Colts at Washington Redskins

Sun. Oct. 24 Week 7 Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers

Sun. Oct. 31 Week 8 Pittsburgh Steelers at New Orleans Saints

Sun. Nov. 7 Week 9 Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers

Sun. Nov. 14 Week 10 New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers

Sun. Nov. 21 *Week 11 New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

Sun. Nov. 28 *Week 12 San Diego Chargers at Indianapolis Colts

Sun. Dec. 5 *Week 13 Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens

Sun. Dec. 12 *Week 14 Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

Sun. Dec. 19 *Week 15 Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots

Sun. Dec. 26 *Week 16 San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals

Sun. Jan. 2 *Week 17 TBA

*Flex Week

 

“The Decision” to be Presented Live on ESPN Thursday at 9 p.m. ET

July 8, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

LeBron James to Make Formal Announcement as to Where He’ll Play Next

ESPN_Special_LeBronOne of the most anticipated decisions in the sports world – where NBA superstar free agent LeBron James will play next season and beyond – will be officially revealed on “The Decision,” to be presented live on ESPN and ESPN Radio Thursday, July 8, at 9 p.m. ET. Photos

Proceeds from “The Decision” will be donated to Boys & Girls Club of America in support of James’ vision to construct basketball courts for youth across the country. The program will be co-presented by University of Phoenix and Bing. vitaminwater® and McDonald’s will also sponsor the program. In addition, Nike and Sprite are making contributions in support of this charitable initiative. LeBron James and his marketing company, LRMR Marketing, were responsible for securing the sponsors for this unique event.

Maverick Carter, CEO of LRMR, said: “LeBron has a longstanding commitment to giving back to the community and has worked with Boys & Girls Clubs in cities across the country. With the unprecedented attention and interest surrounding LeBron’s decision, we decided to make this announcement on national television and donate the proceeds to Boys & Girls Clubs. We very much appreciate the cooperation and generosity of our sponsors.”

Roxanne Spillett, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, added: “We were thrilled to hear from LeBron’s organization over this past weekend with this most generous gesture. Taking time out of what I am sure is a most difficult decision, and creating an opportunity for our Clubs and members to benefit, is just tremendous.”

ESPN’s Stuart Scott will host “The Decision,” and will be joined by ESPN NBA analysts Michael Wilbon and Jon Barry. Freelance reporter Jim Gray will conduct the first interview with James in which he announces his decision. Wilbon will also have an extensive interview with James.

ESPN’s 6 p.m. ET SportsCenter will expand to three hours leading into the hour-long “The Decision” at 9 p.m. Following “The Decision,” ESPN will televise an expanded SportsCenter from 10 p.m.-midnight (9 p.m. PT). SportsCenter’s coverage throughout the evening will provide news and information associated with the decision, an overview of the NBA free agency landscape, and a recap of the other sports news of the day. ESPN will also have reporters at the team headquarters of several teams which have been most active in free agency.

Thursday’s ESPN schedule (July 8):
6-9 p.m. ET SportsCenter
9-10 p.m. “The Decision”
10 p.m.-midnight (9 p.m. PT) SportsCenter (with Baseball Tonight updates)

 

ABC SCORES ITS MOST-WATCHED-EVER OPENING NIGHT OF THE NBA FINALS

June 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

With Coverage of the 2010 NBA Finals Game 1, ABC Wins Thursday by Wide Margins in Viewers and Adults 18-49

ABC Scores its Top Thursday with Summer Programming Since September ’05 And Generates its Most-Watched-Ever Opening Night with the NBA Finals

ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live Game Night” Achieves its Highest Numbers Ever

Celtics-Lakers 2010 NBA Finals Game 1 Overshadows the Primetime Landscape, Standing as Thursday’s No. 1 TV Program in Viewers and Across All Key Adults

Among Viewers and Adults 18-49, Game 1 of 2010 Marks the Highest-Rated Start for the NBA Finals in 6 Years and is the 2nd-Highest-Ever Opener on ABC Thursday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
With coverage of the 2010 NBA Finals Game 1 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, ABC posted a dominant win on Thursday night, beating its nearest competition (Fox) by 2.0 million viewers (10.7 million vs. 8.7 million) and by 24% in Adults 18-49 (4.1/14 vs. 3.3/11).

* In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49 (tie), ABC tallied its strongest Thursday with summer programming since September 2005 – since 9/8/05.

* The Net produced its most-watched-ever opening night with the NBA Finals.  It was also ABC’s highest-ever opening night delivery with the NBA Championship Series in Adults 18-34 (4.2/15-tie), Men 18-49 (5.4/19-tie), Men 25-54 (5.5/17-tie) and Teens 12-17 (3.2/13).

“Jimmy Kimmel Live Game Night 1” (Various Time Periods)
Airing around the NBA Finals in various time periods across the country, the “Jimmy Kimmel Live Game Night” special generated broad exposure for the ABC late-night talker in primetime.  ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live Game Night” achieved its best-ever numbers for any telecast, since it began airing in 2008 (a total of 12 telecasts).  The “JKL” special was up over last year’s opening-night telecast by 17% in Total Viewers (4.2 million vs. 3.6 million) and by 8% in Adults 18-49 (1.3/5 vs. 1.2/4).

* Thursday’s (6/3/10) late-night telecast of “JKL” equaled the show’s highest Metered Market Adult 18-49 rating (0.9) in more than 3 months – since 3/1/10.

“NBA Finals on ABC – GM 1” (9:04 p.m. – 12:00 a.m., ET)
Featuring the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers, ABC’s “2010 NBA Finals Game 1” towered over its primetime competition and finished as Thursday’s definitive No. 1 TV program in Total Viewers (14.1 million) and across each of the key Adult demographics:  A18-34 (5.9/20), A18-49 (5.7/18) and A25-54 (5.8/17).  Los Angeles won the opening game of the series by a score of 102-89 to lead the best-of-seven series 1-0.

* In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, Game 1 of the 2010 NBA Finals qualifies as the best start for the Championship Series in 6 years (since 2004 Pistons-Lakers) and as the second-highest-ever opening game for The Finals on ABC – beginning with coverage in 2003.

* Game 1 of the 2010 NBA Finals delivered a 25.2/43 Household number in Los Angeles and a 19.1/34 in Boston.

A note about increasing DVR penetration and year-to-year rating comparisons: Year-to-year rating comparisons based on the Live + Same Day data stream are distorted by the level of DVR penetration in the Nielsen sample, which has jumped up to 36% currently, from 31% at the same point in 2009. More viewers are watching shows on their own timetables, which may not be reflected in the overnight next-day numbers. The only truly valid year-to-year comparison would be one based on the Live + 7 Day metric, once those stats are released by Nielsen.

Source: The Nielsen Company (National, Live + Same Day Program Ratings), 6/3/10.  Metered Market averages based on Local People Meter data for 6/3/10.

 

2010 ‘NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL’ SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED

April 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Thursday Night Opener: Vikings at Super Bowl Champion Saints; McNabb and Redskins Host Cowboys in Opening SNF Game ‘Manning Bowl’ in Week 2
3 Appearances Each by Colts, Cowboys, Eagles, Giants, Packers and Steelers; 2 Appearances Each by Chargers, Patriots, Redskins and Vikings

NEW YORK – April 20, 2010 – Three appearances each by six marquee NFL teams, the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers; a rematch of the NFC Championship Game as the Super Bowl XLIV champion New Orleans Saints host the Minnesota Vikings in the opening Thursday night game; the “Manning Bowl” rematch in Week 2; and storied rivalries including three NFC East games, Chargers-Colts, Vikings-Packers at Lambeau, Steelers-Ravens and Jets-Dolphins highlight the “NBC Sunday Night Football” schedule as the league announced its 2010 slate of games today.

Highlights of “NBC Sunday Night Football” schedule:

  • Sixteen of NBC’s 17 scheduled games involve at least one playoff team from last season; eight of 17 include two playoff teams.
  • Fourteen of the 17 teams playing on “Sunday Night Football” had .500 or better records.
  • Three appearances from six marquee teams: Colts (vs. Giants, Redskins, Chargers), Cowboys (Redskins, Packers, Eagles), Eagles (49ers, Giants, Cowboys), Giants (Colts, Bears, Eagles), Packers (Vikings, Cowboys, Patriots) and Steelers (Saints, Patriots, Ravens).
  • A rematch of last year’s NFC Championship game between the Vikings and Saints to kickoff the NFL season on Thursday night, Sept. 9.
  • Peyton and Eli meet in the anticipated rematch of the “Manning Bowl” when the Giants and Colts face off in Week 2.  They last met in the network debut of “Sunday Night Football” in 2006 in a game that was seen by 22.6 million viewers, the third-most ever in the history of “Sunday Night Football.” Six SNF games involve one of the Manning brothers.
  • A matchup of two of the oldest NFL teams when the Bears and Giants meet in Week 4 in the New Meadowlands Stadium.  The Bears-Giants rivalry dates back to 1925.
  • Three matchups among bitter NFC East rivals: Cowboys-Redskins, Giants-Eagles, and Eagles-Cowboys.
  • The first “NBC Sunday Night Football” trips to New Orleans, Cincinnati, San Francisco and Miami.

SNF DOMINATED SUNDAY NIGHTS: “Sunday Night Football” was the most- watched Sunday night primetime broadcast in a record 15 of 16 (94 percent) weeks last season.  In 2008, SNF won 13 of 16 (81 percent) Sunday nights after winning 11 of 16 in 2007 (69 percent) and nine of 16 in 2006 (56 percent).

SNF NO. 1 PRIMETIME PROGRAM FOR 2009 SEASON IN KEY DEMOS: For the full 2009 season, “Sunday Night Football” ranked as the No. 1 program across the key demographics of Adults 18-49 (7.5), Men 25-54 (10.8), Men 18-49 (9.7) and Men 18-34 (8.1).  Additionally, SNF ranked No. 2 in viewership (19.6 million) and in household rating (11.7) among all primetime programs during the football season.

NFL OPENING KICKOFF: In a tradition that began in 2004, the Super Bowl champion annually hosts the following season’s Thursday night season kickoff. The NFL will open this season on NBC, Thursday, Sept. 9, with the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints hosting the NFC North champion Minnesota Vikings, who the Saints defeated in the NFC Championship game last season, 31-28. The first “NBC Sunday Night Football” contest of the season is a classic NFC East rivalry as the Washington Redskins with their new QB Donovan McNabb and head coach Mike Shanahan host Tony Romo and the NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys.

2010 “NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL” SCHEDULE

Thurs. Sept. 9               NFL Kickoff              Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints

Sun. Sept. 12               Week 1          Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins

Sun. Sept. 19               Week 2          New York Giants at Indianapolis Colts

Sun. Sept. 26               Week 3          New York Jets at Miami Dolphins

Sun. Oct. 3                   Week 4             Chicago Bears at New York Giants

Sun. Oct. 10                 Week 5               Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers

Sun. Oct. 17                 Week 6             Indianapolis Colts at Washington Redskins

Sun. Oct. 24                 Week 7            Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers

Sun. Oct. 31                 Week 8            Pittsburgh Steelers at New Orleans Saints

Sun. Nov. 7                  Week 9          Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers

Sun. Nov. 14                Week 10        New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers

Sun. Nov. 21                *Week 11        New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

Sun. Nov. 28                *Week 12        San Diego Chargers at Indianapolis Colts

Sun. Dec. 5                  *Week 13            Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens

Sun. Dec. 12                *Week 14            Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

Sun. Dec. 19                *Week 15        Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots

Sun. Dec. 26                *Week 16        San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals

Sun. Jan. 2                   *Week 17        TBA

*Flex Week

“Football Night in America” begins NBC’s NFL coverage every Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.

Following is a complete breakdown of the matchups with analysis from “NBC Sunday Night Football” analyst Cris Collinsworth and “NBC Football Night in America” analysts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison:

THURSDAY, SEPT. 9 – NFL KICKOFF 2010

Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints (Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, La.)

In a tradition that began in 2004, the Super Bowl champion annually hosts the following season’s Thursday night season kickoff. This year’s matchup features a rematch of last year’s thrilling NFC Championship Game as the defending Super Bowl champion Saints host the Vikings, who are still awaiting word as to Brett Favre’s return.

Collinsworth: “If I could hand pick one game to start the season – assuming Brett Favre comes back – this would be mine.  In many ways this was probably the most memorable and most emotional of all the playoff games last year including the Super Bowl.  You had Brett Favre and the New Orleans Saints, with their fans who have endured so much, getting the opportunity to go to the Super Bowl.”

SUNDAY, SEPT. 12 – WEEK ONE

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (FedExField, Landover, Md.)

“NBC Sunday Night Football” kicks off its season with one of the most storied rivalries in sports as the Redskins host the Cowboys.  Donovan McNabb will face a familiar foe, but as the quarterback of a new team, as he makes his debut under center with the Redskins. And new Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan makes his regular-season debut in a bitter NFC East rivalry game.

Collinsworth: “Without question the story of the off-season was Donovan McNabb going to divisional rival Washington.  The Redskins have almost unbelievably rebuilt the team, starting at the top with Mike Shanahan as the coach and Kyle Shanahan as the offensive coordinator, McNabb at QB and they added Larry Johnson and Willie Parker at RB.  It’s been a remarkable quick fix for the Redskins and, the way they played defense last year and with coach and QB now in place, this is a very very different looking Washington Redskins team.”

SUNDAY, SEPT. 19 – WEEK TWO

New York Giants at Indianapolis Colts (Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind.)

Brothers Peyton and Eli Manning face off in the rematch of the “Manning Bowl.”  This is the first time the brothers will meet since 2006 when the Colts and Giants met in the first ever “Sunday Night Football” game on NBC, a game that drew 22.6 million viewers and stands as the third most-watched game in SNF history. The Colts won, 26-21, at Giants Stadium.  Peyton, who won his fourth NFL MVP last season, has led the Colts to the playoffs in each of the last seven seasons while the Giants, who won Super Bowl XLII, missed the playoffs last season for the first time since 2004.

Dungy, head coach of the Colts for the first “Manning Bowl”: “I have never been in a regular season game with that much hype. This will be huge, too.”

Collinsworth: “This game takes on a completely different feel now that Eli has a Super Bowl championship of his own.  It’s no longer, ‘could Eli ever measure up to what Peyton has done?’  Certainly Peyton with the four MVPs puts him at the top of the class in many ways but for Eli, he’s no longer the baby brother in this one.  This is more about two top quarterbacks going at it…and, oh, by the way, they’re brothers.”

SUNDAY, SEPT. 26 – WEEK THREE

New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fla.)

A bitter AFC East rivalry as the Jets, who advanced to the AFC Championship Game last season behind rookie head coach Rex Ryan and rookie QB Mark Sanchez, take on the Dolphins who won the division just two seasons ago.  The Jets acquired a number of high-profile players during the off-season, including formers Chargers CB Antonio Cromartie and RB LaDainian Tomlinson. The Dolphins recently traded for former Broncos WR Brandon Marshall and signed him to a long-term contract.  Marshall will have a difficult task in this game as he goes up against one of the top CBs in the league in the Jets’ Darrell Revis.  The Dolphins swept their two meetings last year winning 31-27 at home in Week 5 and 30-25 at the Meadowlands in Week 8.

Harrison: “The Jets made a ton of off-season moves and are definitely looking to reach that next level. But I’m interested to see how Mark Sanchez develops. If the quarterback doesn’t play well, then they won’t have success. I had the opportunity to play against Brandon Marshall. He’s a phenomenal young player and is going to help out the Dolphins tremendously. The Marshall-Revis matchup is awesome. I’m taking Revis all day despite Marshall being a physical specimen.”

SUNDAY, OCT. 3 – WEEK FOUR

Chicago Bears vs. New York Giants (New Meadowlands Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.) The Giants and Bears first met in 1925 at the Polo Grounds. This will be the 56th meeting, including playoff games, between the 85-year old rivals but the first at the New Meadowlands Stadium. The Bears were active in the off-season signing Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers and hiring new offensive coordinator Mike Martz, who specializes in the passing game.

Dungy: “The Bears have a completely different offensive philosophy with Mike Martz there. They are trying to build the team around Jay Cutler and win games through the air. The Giants are looking to get back that pressure defense they had when they won the Super Bowl.”

SUNDAY OCT. 10 – WEEK FIVE

Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers (Candlestick Park, San Francisco, Calif.) The 49ers, poised for a playoff run after an 8-8 season in 2009, make their first appearance on “NBC Sunday Night Football” by hosting the Eagles – making the first of three SNF appearances in 2010 – and their new starting quarterback Kevin Kolb.

Harrison: “Philadelphia went out west to Oakland last year and lost. This will be an interesting game to see how they respond to the West Coast travel. It’s an opportunity for them to show that they are going to be a consistent team no matter who the opponent is or where they play.”

SUNDAY, OCT. 17 – WEEK SIX

Indianapolis Colts at Washington Redskins (FedExField, Landover, Md.)

A battle of two of the NFL’s top QBs as reigning NFL MVP Peyton Manning leads the AFC Champion Colts into the nation’s capital to take on the Redskins with their new Head Coach Mike Shanahan and new QB Donovan McNabb.

Dungy: “Mike Shanahan knows the Colts well. He played a lot of games against them when he was in Denver. It’s going to be interesting to see how far along Donovan McNabb is in the Redskins offense. I think you’ll see his best around this time.”

SUNDAY, OCT. 24 – WEEK SEVEN

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wis.)

Will Brett Favre return for another season? If so, this will be the Vikings quarterback’s second trip back to Lambeau Field, a place where he donned the green and gold of the Packers for 16 seasons. His inaugural return last year was the most-watched NFL regular-season game of the year with 29.8 million viewers.

Dungy: “A lot depends on if Brett Favre comes back, and I think he will be back. Even though Brett played at Lambeau last year, it’s always going to be emotional for him and the Packers fans. Green Bay knows it needs to beat Minnesota if it wants to win the division. The Packers lost twice last year despite being able to move the ball and put points on the board. They were unable to stop the Vikings.”

SUNDAY, OCT. 31 – WEEK EIGHT

Pittsburgh Steelers at New Orleans Saints (Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, La.)

This Halloween Night in New Orleans shouldn’t be so scary with a matchup of the last two Super Bowl winners as the Steelers head to the Big Easy to take on Drew Brees and the Saints.

Collinsworth: “Where else would you have Halloween night?  The Saints fans and the city of New Orleans do costumes pretty well so I hope I can keep my attention on the field for what should be a tremendous football matchup.  You have arguably the most exciting offense in the Saints going against the most exciting defense in the Steelers.”

SUNDAY, NOV. 7 – WEEK NINE

Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers (Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wis.)

Two 2009 playoff teams collide at the hallowed grounds of Lambeau Field. This game, in each of the last two years has drawn an impressive 22.2 million and 26.7 million viewers, respectively.

Dungy: “This is a game for people like me who appreciate the history of the NFL. It evokes a lot of memories. It will showcase two up-and-coming quarterbacks. Both teams have good receiving corps, players who can run after the catch, and good pass rushers. It’s going to come down to which pass rushing unit can nullify the other team’s quarterback.”

SUNDAY, NOV. 14 – WEEK 10

New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers (Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pa.)

Tom Brady leads the Patriots into Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers in a matchup of two of the NFL’s top teams of the past decade.  The Steelers and Patriots have combined to win five of the last nine Super Bowls.

Harrison: “This is definitely going to be a really physical game. The Steelers definitely have a bitter taste in their mouths from how they ended last year. With all the controversy about Ben Roethlisberger, he’s going to have a chip on his shoulder. The Patriots have not made a lot of off-season moves, they feel comfortable with who they are. They are going to have a renewed energy because the way they finished their season last year is totally unacceptable. They are going to come out and be a lot younger, faster and more physical.”

SUNDAY, NOV. 21 – WEEK 11

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pa.) The Eagles have won the last four matchups between these two longtime NFC East  rivals, including a two-game sweep in 2009 in which they scored 85 total points. Last year’s on Sunday Night Football in Week 14, the two division rivals combined to score 83 points in a 45-38 Eagles victory.

Dungy: “It will be interesting to see at that time where Philly’s offense is. Are they rolling? Is Kevin Kolb progressing? Is he playing like a veteran or a first-year starter? Have defenses gotten a read on him? I’m sure the Giants will test the Eagles run defense.”

SUNDAY, NOV. 28 – WEEK 12

San Diego Chargers at Indianapolis Colts (Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind.)

Two of the NFL’s most high-powered offenses that had the two best records in the league last season clash as Philip Rivers leads the Chargers into Indianapolis to talk on Manning and the Colts.  The defending AFC West division Chargers were 13-3 last year, tied with the Saints for the second best record in the NFL only behind the Colts (14-2).

Dungy: “This is the game that didn’t happen last year in the playoffs. San Diego has no qualms about going into Indy. They have won there in the past. They will be a little bit different without LaDainian Tomlinson. The challenge for the Colts will be how they react to losing the Super Bowl. But previous disappointing losses just made those guys work harder.”

SUNDAY, DEC. 5 – WEEK 13

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Md.)

This game has become one of the fiercest rivalries in the NFL. They split their two head-to-head meetings last season with the Ravens winning 20-17 in OT in Week 12 in Baltimore and the Steelers taking the Week 16 matchup 23-20 in Pittsburgh.  Both teams finished 9-7 last season in the AFC North but the Ravens captured the Wild Card berth by virtue of their better conference record.

Harrison: “You can circle this on your calendar as the most physical football game in the NFL this year on Sunday night. The Ravens came out and smacked the Patriots in the face in the playoffs. Then you’ve got the Steelers who will have Troy Palamalu back. It’s going to be physical.”

SUNDAY, DEC. 12 – WEEK 14

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas)

The Eagles will be looking to exact some revenge for three losses to the Cowboys in 2009, two of them on NBC. On the strength of their defense, which recorded four sacks and two interceptions, the Cowboys defeated the Eagles, 20-16, on SNF in Week 8. In the Wild Card game on NBC and watched by 32.1 million viewers, the most-watched primetime Wild Card game ever, Dallas won, 34-14.

Harrison: “Kevin Kolb, you asked for it, you got it. You got a chance to go in there and beat a team that Donovan McNabb struggle to beat last season, losing three times. They moved in a different direction and handed you the throne and said, you know what, you need to get us over the hump so we can beat Dallas. I’m interested to see how he’s going to respond, or is he going to have to have Michael Vick come in as his savior.”

SUNDAY, DEC. 19 – WEEK 15

Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots (Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Mass.)

QB Aaron Rodgers leads the Packers into Foxboro for the first time since 2002 to take on Brady and the Patriots.  Both teams were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs last season with the AFC East champion Patriots losing to the Ravens, 33-14, and the Wild Card Packers losing to the Cardinals, 51-45, in OT.  This is only the ninth regular-season meeting ever between these two teams and the first since 2006 when the Patriots shutout the Packers 35-0 at Lambeau Field.  The series between the Patriots and Packers also includes Super Bowl XXXI in New Orleans when the Packers defeated the Patriots 35-21.

Collinsworth: “Set Tom Brady aside.  Everyone knows what he has done in the league with three Super Bowl wins.  Aaron Rodgers is the next superstar that we will be talking about.  I really think that Aaron Rodgers has Drew Brees-like talent and leadership skills and is going to be the next star in this league.”

Harrison: “A game like this could have significant playoff implications. The Patriots will be going up against one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL. He faces a good young secondary. This is a great measuring stick for the Patriots.”

SUNDAY, DEC. 26 – WEEK 16

San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals (Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio)

The AFC North champion Bengals host their first ever “Sunday Night Football” game in this battle of division winners as they take on Philip Rivers and the AFC West champion Chargers.  These two teams met in Week 15 last season with the Chargers winning 27-24.  The playoff berth for the Bengals last season was just their second since 1990.

Collinsworth: “The first “Sunday Night Football” game in Cincinnati and a home game for me.  San Diego is one of the clear-cut favorites in the AFC.  Cincinnati just has to fix its passing game, which sounds strange when you are talking about a Bengals team that was all passing and couldn’t find a running game and their defense for so long.  Assuming they get their passing game back on track, the Bengals can be one of the favorites this year in the AFC.”

SUNDAY, JAN. 2 – WEEK 17

Teams to be announced by NFL at least six days prior.

The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17, but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot to conclude the season.

FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING: The season again will utilize “flexible scheduling” in Weeks 11-17.  In Weeks 11-16, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC.  Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time.  Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday or Monday nights.

A flexible scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the game.  For Week 17, the change will be announced no later than six days before the game.  The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17, but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot to conclude the season.

Flexible scheduling will ensure quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and give “surprise” teams a chance to play their way into primetime.

 

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