T.O. MAKES HOME DEBUT AS 'NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL' HEADS TO DALLAS FOR LATEST RENEWAL OF COWBOYS-REDSKINS RIVALRY
NBC's Madden: "It's the Redskins vs. the Cowboys, it just sounds like a football game."
NBC's Collinsworth: "The Dallas-Washington rivalry is the best in football, the oldest, the most bitter."
NEW YORK � Sept. 13, 2006 � "NBC Sunday Night Football" travels to Dallas as the Cowboys (0-1) host their archrival the Washington Redskins (0-1) Sunday at 8:15 p.m. ET presented in high definition. NBC's coverage kicks off at 7 p.m. ET with the "Football Night in America" studio show, a complete recap of the top stories in the NFL, complete with highlights, analysis and reports from every NFL game site.
"It's the Redskins vs. the Cowboys, it doesn't get much better than that � it just sounds like a football game," said John Madden.
Al Michaels (play-by-play), Madden (analyst) and Andrea Kremer (sideline reporter) will call all the action. Bob Costas (host) and Cris Collinsworth (co-host), joined by analysts Sterling Sharpe and Jerome "The Bus" Bettis, and reporter Peter King of Sports Illustrated, comprise the "Football Night in America" studio team.
Outspoken WR Terrell Owens, making his home regular season debut, seeks to write a new chapter in the NFL's most storied rivalry that extends from Tom Landry and George Allen to Bill Parcells and Joe Gibbs. Both the Cowboys and the Redskins are seeking to rebound after opening their seasons with disappointing losses, the Cowboys 24-17 at Jacksonville and the Redskins at home to the Minnesota Vikings, 19-16.
NBC's Collinsworth said: "If I had the ability to put a camera in Bill Parcells head, and simply leave him in a room for 24 hours with Terrell Owens, that would be the most entertaining television in the history of the medium. And the Dallas-Washington rivalry is the best in football. It just simply is. It is the oldest, it is the most bitter, it is the one that if these two teams could win only one football game per year and go 1-15, they don't care, as long as they beat the Cowboys or the Redskins, they're feeling good."
NBC's Sharpe sees the chemistry between T.O. and Bledsoe developing as the season progresses: "I think the relationship between Drew Bledsoe and Terrell Owens will get a lot better over time on the field. Remember T.O. did not practice a lot with the team during training camp. The look of T.O. running routes in practice will help Drew to trust him and give him more opportunities to make plays."
"NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL" SCORES IN RATINGS
Sunday night's "NBC Sunday Night Football" debut scored a 14.3 household rating/23 share, outrating every "Monday Night Football" opener since the highly anticipated debut of Dennis Miller in 2000, according to fast national ratings provided by Nielsen Media Research. The only "MNF" game in the past five years to rate higher featured the undefeated Indianapolis Colts versus the eventual Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers last season (14.8 on 11/28/2005). The showdown between older brother Peyton Manning and the younger Eli (8:15-11:15 p.m. ET), won by the Indianapolis Colts 26-21 at Giants Stadium, was also up 10 percent from last year's "MNF" opener (13.0).
Sunday night's game averaged 22.6 million viewers � up 16% from last season's "MNF" opener, and the best viewership number for any primetime regular-season game since the 2000 opener (22.9 million); 50 million total, unduplicated viewers watched the game, the highest total for a primetime opening game since the 1996 "MNF" opener.
"FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA STUDIO
The "Football Night in America" studio, just down the hall from the famed Studio 8H, home of "Saturday Night Live," was built in the former studio home of first the Philco Television Playhouse (1948-1955) and later for game shows Concentration (1958-1973) and Jeopardy (1964-1975), and talk shows Donahue (1984-1996) and The Rosie O'Donnell Show (1996-2002), and shares the "SNL" control room for the football season. The "Football Night" set was designed and built by Jeremy Conway - the former set designer for "Sex in the City." Two 103" high definition Panasonic plasma screen televisions � roughly the size of a queen-size mattress � are two of the set innovations.
"NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL"
"NBC Sunday Night Football," the premier primetime game of the week, will be preceded by the "Football Night in America" studio show, which kicks off NBC's regular season coverage each Sunday at 7 p.m. The unprecedented six-year NFL deal includes innovative flexible scheduling and continues through the 2011 season with Super Bowls in 2009 and 2012. NBC has assembled the most honored broadcast team ever: Joining Al Michaels, the commentator called "TV's best play-by-play announcer" by the Associated Press, and John Madden, the most honored NFL broadcaster of all time with 15 Emmy Awards, are Bob Costas, the most honored studio host of all time with 19 Emmy Awards, who will host NBC's "Football Night in America" studio show alongside co-host Cris Collinsworth, the most honored studio analyst in history with six Emmy Awards; and analysts Sterling Sharpe, a five-time Pro Bowler and Jerome Bettis, one of the most popular players in recent NFL history. "NBC Sunday Night Football" coverage also includes sideline and feature reporter Andrea Kremer, whom the Los Angeles Times has called "the best TV interviewer in the business of covering the NFL." 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.
NBC'S REMAINING 2006 NFL SCHEDULE
(Sunday coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET with "Football Night in America" studio show)
Sunday, Sept. 17 � Washington at Dallas
Sunday, Sept. 24 � Denver at New England
Sunday, Oct. 1 � Seattle at Chicago
Sunday, Oct. 8 � Pittsburgh at San Diego
Sunday, Oct. 15 � Oakland at Denver
Sunday, Oct. 29 � Dallas at Carolina
Sunday, Nov. 5 � Indianapolis at New England
Flexible Scheduling Weeks 10-15
Monday, Dec. 25 (Christmas Day) � Philadelphia at Dallas
Flexible Scheduling Week 17