ESPN TO TELEVISE NFL MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL IN UK
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London, 29 March 2010 – ESPN will add exclusive coverage of American Football’s Monday Night Football to its programme schedule for next season. The iconic US sports franchise features 17 games per season and is the only NFL game each week televised on Monday nights, and regularly features many of the league’s top matchups.
The longest-running and most successful primetime sports show in US television history, Monday Night Football will debut on ESPN UK on September 14 at 1am GMT. Each week, the game of the week will be televised live, and will also be re-aired the following day. Scheduling details for the repeat will be released closer to the beginning of the NFL season.
Each week ESPN will also televise the company’s 90-minute pre-game programme, Monday Night Countdown. Hosted by ESPN’s Chris Berman and originating from both Bristol and on-site at the game, Monday Night Countdown previews the night’s Monday Night Football matchup.
Jeroen Oerlemans, Vice President, ESPN, TV Channels Europe, Middle East and Africa said, “Monday Night Football is an enormous global sports franchise with an incredibly strong heritage, and it regularly features the very best NFL matchup of the week. With the NFL’s continued growth in the UK, this is another example of how we are building quality global programming around our core UK sports schedule.”
Added Hans Schroeder, NFL vice president, media strategy and development, “We are pleased to expand our partnership with ESPN in serving our fans in the U.K. who are passionate about the NFL. ESPN will continue to do an outstanding job of bringing our fans closer to our sport in new ways.”
Monday Night Football joins a broad portfolio of top sport on ESPN next season, headlined by the Barclay’s Premiere League, the FA Cup, Guinness Premiership rugby, Clydesdale Bank Premier League, Europa League, the German Bundesliga, UFC, French Top 14 rugby, NBA basketball, DTM, Australian Rules Football and much more.
Celebrating its 40th year this autumn, Monday Night Football has aired exclusively on ESPN in the US since 2006. Since then, it has registered eight of the top 10 all-time biggest household audiences on pay television, including the Green Bay Packers-Minnesota Vikings broadcast on October 5, 2009, which attracted the biggest US cable audience ever (21.8 million viewers). Monday Night Football has also earned critical acclaim, earning 25 Emmy Awards throughout its history.
Created by sports broadcasting pioneer and former ABC Sports president Roone Arledge, Monday Night Football premiered on September 21, 1970. As one of US televisions premiere properties, it has attracted celebrity guests ranging from John Lennon to former US President Bill Clinton and then-Senator Barack Obama.