NBC Sports today announced a new look for its Emmy Award-nominated NFL studio show “Football Night in America.” The show, which will still offer the most complete highlights and analysis from the day’s NFL action, will increase its emphasis on that night’s “Sunday Night Football” matchup, highlighted by Bob Costas moving from the studio to hosting the show from the game site.
Costas, the most honored studio host of all time with 19 Emmy Awards, will host the show from a set at the “Sunday Night Football” game site. He will be joined by the new SNF broadcast team of Al Michaels, a six-time Emmy Award-winner whom the Associated Press has called “TV’s best play-by-play announcer,” and Cris Collinsworth, the most honored studio analyst in sports television history, winning the award in nine of the 12 years of its existence and winning two additional Emmys for game analyst. Collinsworth moves from the studio to the broadcast booth alongside Michaels to replace the recently-retired John Madden.
“At our best we aspire to give the viewer the best seat in the house — not the hype around the event, but the story of the event itself,” said Ebersol. “Bob has proven time and again that he is unmatched in his ability to appropriately set the scene and tell the story of an event. Having the two premier broadcasters of their generation in Bob and Al on site and appearing together alongside Cris, the best analyst in the business, adds an immediacy that makes ‘Sunday Night Football’ an even bigger event.”
Costas said: “Hosting from the site of the game, being in the stadium surrounded by the fans and the energy and atmosphere of the event, creates an urgency and a sense of place that can’t be duplicated in the studio. And of course, this allows me to keep working with Cris, while at the same time building on the special chemistry I developed with Al Michaels in BASEketball.”
Michaels said: “When you look at the Sunday Night Football schedule, it’s clear that a good percentage of the time, our game will be the glamour matchup of the weekend. Having Bob on site will help boost the profile of the event and make sure everything worth knowing before the game will be covered by the best host in sports television history.
“On another level, getting him out of the studio ‘green room’ on Sundays and into the trenches will save 20-25% of the catering budget and should provide an immediate boost for GE stock.”
Collinsworth: “We finally showed Bob how much fun it was to get out of the studio during the Olympics last summer and he loved it. It’s going to be great to be able to work with both Al and Bob, and to still be a part of the studio show and talk about the big events of the day.”
Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann, who together redefined sports highlights during their time at ESPN, successfully reunited last year on “Football Night” and will continue their partnership. They are joined at NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios by Tony Dungy, the historic Super Bowl coach whose teams made the playoffs each of the last 10 seasons, unprecedented in this era, the outspoken two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison and Sports Illustrated’s Peter King. “Football Night’s” Tiki Barber will report from the site of one of the NFL’s big games as he did towards the end of last season.
“FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA”: “NBC Sunday Night Football” the premier primetime game of the week, is preceded by the “Football Night in America” studio show, which kicks off NBC’s regular season coverage each Sunday at 7 p.m. ET. Bob Costas, the most honored studio host of all time with 19 Emmy Awards, will host the show from a set at the “Sunday Night Football” game site, joined by Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth. Co-hosts Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann, who together redefined sports highlights at ESPN, will narrate the highlights from the 30 Rock studio. They are joined by analysts Tony Dungy, the historic Super Bowl coach whose teams made the playoffs each of the last 10 seasons, unprecedented in this era, and Rodney Harrison, the three-time All-Pro and two-time Super Bowl champion. Peter King, who covers the NFL for Sports Illustrated and is considered one of the country’s foremost NFL reporters, serves as a reporter for the “Football Night in America” studio show.
HIGHLIGHTS OF “NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL” SCHEDULE
· All 12 NFL playoff teams from last season are featured.
· Fourteen of NBC’s 16 scheduled games involve at least one playoff team from last season.
· Giants at Cowboys opens the $1.2 billion Dallas Cowboys Stadium, “the 8th Wonder of the World.” It’s a rematch of the most viewed game ever on “Sunday Night Football.”
· Three appearances a piece from six marquee teams: this year’s Super Bowl champion Steelers, last year’s Super Bowl champion Giants plus Dallas, Indianapolis, Chicago and Philadelphia.
· Six games involving one of the Manning brothers, Peyton and Eli.
· Quarterback duels between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, Peyton and Kurt Warner, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger and Donovan McNabb and Jay Cutler.
· Four matchups among bitter NFC East rivals: Giants-Cowboys, Cowboys-Eagles, Eagles-Giants and Cowboys-Redskins.
· A rematch of last year’s hard-hitting AFC Championship game between Pittsburgh and Baltimore and last year’s AFC divisional playoff game between the Steelers and the Chargers.