NBC Sunday Night Football: Wikis

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NBC Sunday Night Football
NBC Sunday Night Football logo
Format Sports
Starring Al Michaels
Cris Collinsworth
Andrea Kremer
Bob Costas
Dan Patrick
Keith Olbermann
Tony Dungy
Rodney Harrison
Tiki Barber
Theme music composer John Williams
Joan Jett[1]
Opening theme "Sunday Night Football Theme"[1]
Performed by Pink in 2006
and Faith Hill since 2007
Country of origin United States
Production
Running time 180 minutes+
until the conclusion of the game
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Picture format 480i (SDTV),
1080i (HDTV)
Original run August 6, 2006 (2006-08-06) – present
External links
Official website

NBC Sunday Night Football is a weekly television broadcast of Sunday evening National Football League games on NBC that began airing on Sunday, August 6, 2006 with the pre-season opening Hall of Fame Game. Al Michaels serves as the play-by-play announcer, with Cris Collinsworth providing color commentary, and Andrea Kremer serving as the sole sideline reporter. Fred Gaudelli and Drew Esocoff, the lead producer and director respectively, carry over their duties from ABC's telecasts of Monday Night Football. John Madden, the color commentator for the first three years of the program, retired prior to the 2009 season;[2] Collinsworth succeeded him.

ESPN, which aired Sunday games from the 1987 through 2005 NFL seasons, took over Monday Night Football from sister network ABC; starting in 2006.

Contents

Studio show

The studio show Football Night in America, featuring Bob Costas, Dan Patrick, Keith Olbermann, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Tiki Barber, and Peter King precedes the broadcast each week, featuring a recap of the other Sunday NFL contests. Costas, Kremer, Collinsworth, and Michaels also contribute to the studio show from the game site.

Contract

NBC's contract also includes the season-opening Thursday night NFL Kickoff Game and two Saturday games in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. The network aired, or will air, two Super Bowl games during the six years of the deal, following the 2008 (Super Bowl XLIII) and 2011 (Super Bowl XLVI) seasons, and two Pro Bowl games the week following their Super Bowl telecasts as part of a new contractual policy in which the network with the Super Bowl normally also airs the Pro Bowl.

In addition, NBC is the current home of the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, which begins the NFL's preseason each August. However, the 2007 game aired on the NFL Network because the league had planned to stage the China Bowl just a few days later, to be televised by NBC as a tie-in to its coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympics in that country. The China Bowl has since been postponed indefinitely. Normally, there are two other pre-season telecasts on NBC; however, because of the Beijing Olympics, only two were shown in 2008. The second, on August 28 shortly after the closing ceremonies, started at an early time of 7 p.m. ET so as not to interfere with Barack Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention.

During Wild Card Saturday, Tom Hammond (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth (color commentator) called the afternoon game for NBC from 2006-09, while Al Michaels and John Madden handled the evening game. In addition, due to Madden's fear of flying, Collinsworth substituted for Madden on October 19, 2008 for the game featuring the Seattle Seahawks at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This was due to Madden not wanting to make back-to-back-to-back cross-country trips via bus (the October 5 game was in Jacksonville and the October 12 game was in San Diego). Collinsworth was commentator for the Pro Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii for Madden following Super Bowl XLIII, and (in his new capacity as Michaels' new broadcast partner) will presumably do so again after Super Bowl XLVI. Madden has stated he would only travel to Hawaii if he had to commentate a Super Bowl there (likely on an NBC charter flight or on General Electric's larger corporate jet; it is mentioned in his book One Size Doesn't Fit All, that his fear was based on commercial flights and not charter or private planes; he never had a problem flying on charter flights when coaching the Oakland Raiders, as was mentioned in the said book). In 2009, Hammond teamed with Joe Gibbs and Joe Theismann to call the early Wild Card game, while Michaels and Collinsworth worked the late game.[3]

Scheduling

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Opening game

The first regular season game to be shown by NBC under this contract, Miami at Pittsburgh, aired September 7, 2006, followed by the first Sunday-night game—Indianapolis at the New York Giants—on September 10, 2006. The actual first game of the run—the 2006 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game between Oakland and Philadelphia—was televised on August 6, 2006.

Flexible scheduling

NBC Sunday Night Football is the beneficiary of the league's new flexible-scheduling system. For the final seven weeks of the season (seven of the final eight weeks during the 2006 season because of Christmas weekend), the NFL has the flexibility in selecting games to air on Sunday night.

World Series conflicts

As part of its contract with the NFL NBC does not air a Sunday night game for one week in late October, so as not to conflict with Fox's coverage of the World Series. In 2006 NBC did not air a game on October 22, which was the set date for World Series Game 2, but a potential conflict still existed on October 29 if the series went seven games (the conflict never arose, however, as the 2006 World Series ended in five games). With the change in World Series scheduling beginning in 2007, NBC now does not air a game in order to avoid a conflict with World Series Game 4, which is the first chance a team would have to clinch the series. In 2007, there was no game on October 28; in 2008, there was no game on October 26; and, in 2009, there was no game on November 1. Although no game airs on these nights, Football Night in America still airs as scheduled at 7 PM Eastern.

2006

In the 2006 season, in addition to the World Series off week, there was no game scheduled for Christmas Eve night; NBC broadcast that week's game (Eagles at Cowboys) on Christmas afternoon instead. A half-hour version of Football Night in America aired before the Christmas game and the two "Wild Card Saturday" games. During the 2006 season, no game was initially scheduled for NBC in the affected weeks—instead, the schedule slot for the NBC game was left blank, with one Sunday afternoon game being moved to the primetime slot (the schedule for the affected weeks simply read 'one of these games will move to 8:15 Eastern'). CBS and Fox could each protect four of its games during Weeks 10–15 and also each protect one of its games for Week 17; however, these two networks had to decide which games to protect in early October 2006, after Week 4 of the NFL season.

2007

For the first time since NBC gained the rights to Sunday Night Football, a tentative full-season schedule was unveiled, including games in the last seven weeks of the season. Those games could be replaced under flexible scheduling if the need arose. Three of the games in the last seven weeks were eventually replaced with more compelling matches. This resulted in the unprecedented situation—twice—of having a team playing consecutive Sunday nights. New England had consecutive Sunday nighters: the November 18 New England at Buffalo game was moved to prime time and was followed on November 25 by the already-scheduled Philadelphia at New England game. Likewise, the Washington Redskins played a scheduled game at the New York Giants on December 16, and their December 23 game in Minnesota was moved to prime time. The same rules under which CBS and FOX protect games for their own packages still apply.

2008

The 2008 schedule, released April 15, continued the 2007 practice of a scheduled game possibly being moved in favor of a more compelling one during Weeks 11 through 16 (November 16 through December 21), but left the slot open on the final Sunday, December 28. The NFL Kickoff Game between the Washington Redskins and defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants that was played on September 4 started at 7:00 p.m. instead of the normal 8:30 p.m. time in order to avoid conflict with the nomination speech that John McCain gave at the Republican National Convention that night; the game ended at 10:01pm EDT, averting any conflict. As happened in 2007, a team played on consecutive Sunday nights due to a game being moved into the Sunday night time slot. The originally scheduled New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys game on December 14 was followed by a flexed December 21 home game for the Giants against the Carolina Panthers; the Giants-Panthers game was flexed because it carried serious playoff implications, as the winner would clinch the NFC's top seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. This was the second of three flexed games, with a December 7 interconference matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and Washington Redskins. The league filled the open spot on December 28 with a game between the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers with major playoff implications, as the winner of that game would win the AFC West and earn a home game in the playoffs while the loser would be eliminated.

2009

The 2009 schedule, released April 14, continued the 2007 and 2008 practice of scheduling a game every Sunday night during the season but declaring the games in Weeks 11 through 16 (November 22 through December 27 [4]) subject to change, should a more compelling matchup arise. The pattern of the 2007 and 2008 schedules was continued, as the slot for the final Sunday night of the season—January 3, 2010—was left blank. Two games were "flexed" in the 2009 season, as the Minnesota Vikings-Arizona Cardinals game replaced the original December 8 matchup between the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. To fill the blank game for the last week of the season NBC was given the matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets that was originally scheduled for 4:15 on CBS, with this game having playoff implications for both teams (a higher seed in the playoffs for the Bengals and a wild-card spot for the Jets if either won).

2009 schedule

Preseason

Date Kickoff time (Eastern) Visiting Team Final Score Host Team Stadium
Sunday, August 9 8:00 p.m. Tennessee Titans 21–18 Buffalo Bills Pro Football Hall of Fame Game (Fawcett Stadium)
Sunday, August 30 8:00 p.m. Chicago Bears 27–17 Denver Broncos Invesco Field at Mile High

Regular season

Date Kickoff (ET) Visiting Team Final Score Host Team Stadium
Thursday, September 10 8:30 p.m. Tennessee Titans 10–13 (OT) Pittsburgh Steelers Heinz Field
Sunday, September 13 8:20 p.m. Chicago Bears 15–21 Green Bay Packers Lambeau Field
Sunday, September 20 8:20 p.m. New York Giants 33–31 Dallas Cowboys Cowboys Stadium
Sunday, September 27 8:20 p.m. Indianapolis Colts 31–10 Arizona Cardinals University of Phoenix Stadium
Sunday, October 4 8:20 p.m. San Diego Chargers 28–38 Pittsburgh Steelers Heinz Field
Sunday, October 11 8:20 p.m. Indianapolis Colts 31–9 Tennessee Titans LP Field
Sunday, October 18 8:20 p.m. Chicago Bears 14–21 Atlanta Falcons Georgia Dome
Sunday, October 25 8:20 p.m. Arizona Cardinals 24–17 New York Giants Giants Stadium
Sunday, November 8 8:20 p.m. Dallas Cowboys 20–16 Philadelphia Eagles Lincoln Financial Field
Sunday, November 15 8:20 p.m. New England Patriots 34–35 Indianapolis Colts Lucas Oil Stadium
Sunday, November 22 8:20 p.m. Philadelphia Eagles 24–20 Chicago Bears Soldier Field
Sunday, November 29 8:20 p.m. Pittsburgh Steelers 17-20 (OT) Baltimore Ravens M&T Bank Stadium
Sunday, December 6 8:20 p.m. Minnesota Vikings 17-30 Arizona Cardinals University of Phoenix Stadium
Sunday, December 13 8:20 p.m. Philadelphia Eagles 45-38 New York Giants Giants Stadium
Sunday, December 20 8:20 p.m. Minnesota Vikings 7-26 Carolina Panthers Bank of America Stadium
Sunday, December 27 8:20 p.m. Dallas Cowboys 17-0 Washington Redskins FedEx Field
Sunday, January 3 8:20 p.m. Cincinnati Bengals 0-37 New York Jets Giants Stadium
Subject to change
(Flexible scheduling)
*
Overtime result Winning team in italics

Similarity to ABC

Eighty percent of NBC's Sunday Night Football crew comes from ABC/ESPN, including Fred Gaudelli and Drew Esocoff (producer and director, respectively), as ESPN moved most of its Sunday Night production crew to Monday Night Football. Michaels, Madden and Kremer also came to NBC directly from ABC/ESPN, and Football Night in America's Sterling Sharpe was a member of ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown in recent years (calling several Sunday night games for the network in 2005).[5] With regard to using ABC/ESPN talent, NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol said, "I was not interested in the quote, unquote vanity of starting anew ... There's not a lot of room for experimentation."[5]

Also, NBC has the starters introduce themselves, much as ABC did in the last few years of its run, and the short postgame show (so affiliates can get to their late newscasts) follows a similar format to ABC's.

Michaels and Madden ended each telecast in the 2007 and 2008 NFL seasons by selecting an MVP for that night's game to receive the Horse Trailer award (with a photo of each recipient being affixed to the side of a production truck, also known as a "horse trailer"). This concept originated on ABC's MNF, although in the 2006 season, it was altered to the Rock Star of the Game, with the player's photo mounted on a rooftop display at NBC's headquarters, the GE Building (aka "30 Rock") in New York. For the 2009 season (the year Collinsworth took over for Madden), this concept was discontinued.

Theme music

Academy Award winner John Williams composed the instrumental theme music[6] for Sunday Night Football. During Super Bowl XLIII, a techno version of the theme was introduced along with a rock version. The rock version, which is almost exactly the same as the original but with guitar driven accompany, has become the official theme for 2009. Singer Pink sang the theme song for the broadcast[7] in 2006, a reworking of the Joan Jett song "I Hate Myself For Loving You" retitled "Waiting All Day For Sunday Night".[8][9] Several alternative versions were used throughout the season, substituting different lyrics when appropriate, e.g. "Waiting All Year For Opening Night." In 2007, country singer Faith Hill replaced Pink as the singer of the opening theme. The theme still resembles the Joan Jett song.[10]

Show opening

The song is at the centerpiece of the opening montage, which has changed in the following ways over the years. Williams' music has always played in the background over the official welcome after the opening is completed and the teams take the field.

2006

For the first season, Pink appeared to sing from the top of a skyscraper as a helicopter zoomed down on a city skyline and the field, the results of computer-generated imagery. A television monitor, which resembles NBC's monitor at Times Square, showed game preview footage and opening credits.

2007

Faith Hill, who replaced Pink, sang on a stage while some of the key players in the game and announcers Michaels and Madden arrived in limousines and walk on a red carpet as they head to a simulated theater. The marquee outside the theater showed the logo of Sprint, which paid a product placement fee, and one of the "bystanders" recorded the red carpet scene on a Sprint camera phone. Access Hollywood co-hosts Shaun Robinson and Tony Potts also appeared in the opening. Also, some of the lyrics were changed slightly and the musical arrangement tilts toward country more than rock, to reflect the change in singers.

2008

The 2008 opening, which debuted on September 7, takes place in a stadium. Hill performs surrounded by video screens with simulated game action, and the song ends with a computer-generated fireworks display. Once again, a Sprint camera phone is used, this time by a fan. Among the spectators are NFL stars Ray Lewis and Antonio Gates. Again, there were some lyrics changes, among them was the substitution of the lyrics "last one standing better turn out the lights."[11]

2009

Faith Hill sang the theme song for the third straight year. This time, she performed in a closed-studio setting, surrounded by video monitors, neon lights, and a message board that displayed the names of the production staff. Sprint returned for more product placement, as a branded cell phone appeared to give an alert that the game was about to start.

Graphics

NBC's Sunday Night Football graphics, logos and scoreboard were designed by Troika Design Group, along with the city skyline graphics used in the introductions to both Football Night in America and the game itself.[12] NBC's game telecasts use the same type of bottom-line scoreboard that Monday Night Football used in the 2005 NFL season (and was subsequently used by ABC Sports until its demise in August 2006). After its debut, the graphics also began to be phased in across other NBC Sports properties, including its coverage of Notre Dame football and the annual Bayou Classic game (which uses the exact graphics used on SNF broadcasts), National Hockey League coverage (which uses the SNF graphics but with a scoreboard on the top), and tennis and golf (which use a modified version influenced by the look).

NBC's bottom-line scoring banner underwent a significant revamp for the 2009 season. The revamped banner debuted during the network's Super Bowl XLIII coverage on February 1, 2009. The changes include how the down and yardage are presented. Also, when a team scores a touchdown, the banner will open, the team's logo and initials will slide to the left of the banner and "TOUCHDOWN" is displayed in the remainder of the banner. After a few moments, the banner will show the drive information. Then the banner returns to normal and show the change in the team's score. Additionally (beginning with Week 9), timeout indicators were added below each team's respective scores.

See also

References

External links

Preceded by
ESPN
NFL Sunday Night Football broadcaster
2006–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent

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