Monday Night Football’s 46th Season (10th on ESPN) Kicks Off September 14
Sunday NFL Countdown: 30th Anniversary, Debuts New Approach, Two-Hour Format
Monday Night Football – New graphics, animations and show open, plus Pylon Cam
ESPN’s commentator team of Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and sideline reporter Lisa Salters return for MNF’s 46th season (10th on ESPN). Schedule release. Conference call transcript. What to watch for:
- MNF will introduce a new show open, as well as new graphics, animations, and a new shield logo.
- After successful testing in the preseason, MNF will add Pylon Cam to its regular season game coverage. The system uses four custom-molded goal line pylons that house four cameras each to offer brand new perspectives around the goal line. It is the latest in the MNF history of innovative production enhancements and was first deployed and tested during the College Football Playoff Championship in January and then further developed for this season.
- The MNF production will also feature a new booth backdrop; weekly telecasts will utilize four Dreamcatchers, six Sony 4300 cameras in high frame rate 1080p, one Sony 4300 in high frame rate UHD 4k at the high end zone, and two iMovix Phantom cameras in high frame rate UHD 4k on the goal lines.
- In celebration of Frank Gifford’s life and longtime contributions to MNF, the No. 16 he wore as a Giants player will be placed on all of the MNF production trucks this season. Tirico and Gruden will also wear No. 16 lapel pins during games, and Gifford’s voice will be featured in the new MNF show open. Front Row.
Sunday NFL Countdown – New two-hour, more fast-paced show; increased role for Matthew Berry
The 2015 season marks the 30th anniversary of Sunday NFL Countdown (11 a.m.-1 p.m. ET, ESPN), which debuted in 1985 as NFL GameDay. Host Chris Berman, analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson, host/reporter Wendi Nix and NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter kick off the show’s fourth decade with a more fast-paced, whip-around two-hour format. Details:
- Senior fantasy sports analyst Matthew Berry will have a more prominent role on the show.
- The new show open pairs remade music by Chase Holfelder with messages voiced by Kai Greene.
- ESPN will have a camera at every NFL game on Sundays.
NFL Insiders: Sunday Edition – ESPN’s popular weekday show is added to Sunday lineup
Debuting September 13 and leading into Sunday NFL Countdown, the new one-hour NFL Insiders: Sunday Edition (10-11 a.m., ESPN) will provide fans with up-to-the-minute information on Sunday’s slate of NFL games. Trey Wingo will host with NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter and NFL Front Office Insider Louis Riddick.
ESPN Fantasy – Field Yates joins Fantasy Football Now; New Fantasy Football Kickoff on Tuesdays
- The two-hour Fantasy Football Now (Sundays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on ESPN2) pregame show returns with NFL Insider/reporter Field Yates joining Robert Flores, Matthew Berry, Tim Hasselbeck, Sara Walsh and Stephania Bell.
- The new 30-minute Fantasy Football Kickoff (Tuesdays, 3-3:30 p.m. on ESPN) show with Berry, Flores and Hasselbeck airs throughout the season.
More ESPN NFL Studio – Expanded NFL roles for Suzy Kolber and Josina Anderson
- Suzy Kolber is now a full-time host on Monday Night Countdown. She will be joined by Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Young from the site of each week’s Monday Night Football
- Josina Anderson was named National NFL Insider and will join ESPN’s studio shows on a more regular basis.
- Former NFL general manager Joe Banner and head coach Greg Schiano are the newest members of ESPN’s NFL team. ESPN’s NFL roster of hosts, analysts, insiders and reporters: ESPN MediaZone – NFL kit.
ESPN Deportes, the U.S. Spanish-language network, will present live coverage of 17 regular season Monday Night Football games, a Wild Card Playoff Game and the Pro Bowl. Super Bowl XXI and XXV champion Raul Allegre returns as in-game analyst along with play-by-play voice Alvaro Martin. ESPN Deportes’ coverage will feature a Monday night pregame show, NFL Esta Noche, with hosts Eduardo Varela, Pablo Viruega and John Sutcliffe as onsite commentator and reporter. In addition, ESPN Deportes’ weekly show NFL Semanal returns every Saturday morning with commentators Ciro Procuna, Allegre, Sutcliffe and Eitan Benezra providing analysis and highlights.
This season ESPN will bring the NFL into more than 68 million homes in 60 countries/territories in Spanish-speaking Latin America, Brazil, the Caribbean, Canada and Australia/New Zealand/Pacific Islands. ESPN will showcase more NFL programming in 2015 than ever before. Details.
- For the third year, ESPN Radio broadcasts out-of-market NFL games, beginning September 13. Commentators include play-by-play announcers Marc Kestecher, Bill Rosinski and Ryan Ruocco, and analysts Herm Edwards, Shaun O’Hara and Bill Polian. Release.
- A new fall football-themed weekend lineup kicked off September 5. Release.
- ESPN Audio podcasts ESPN Fantasy Focus Football, ESPN Fantasy Football Weekly and ESPN DFS Podcast offer fans dedicated fantasy football coverage. Release.
- ESPN Radio shows travel to select NFL cities and Monday Night Football games as part of its annual Fall Football Tour, including Mike and Mike at the New York Jets facility on September 11. Release.
- Mike and Mike and other shows welcome weekly guests – Cris Carter, Trent Dilfer, Mike Ditka, Ron Jaworski, Steve Young and more – to discuss the NFL.
ESPN Digital and Print
ESPN.com’s NFL coverage starts with an industry-leading group of 32 NFL Nation team reporters, which provides a 365-day stream of news, analysis, game coverage, predictions, interviews, fantasy insight, as well photos, videos, and social elements surrounding each NFL club. Their work and faces are featured daily on shows like SportsCenter, NFL Live and NFL Insiders. Other NFL coverage staples:
- 32 for 32: A new daily feature each morning featuring one must-read nugget for each team. This is the NFL fan’s daily cheatsheet on the biggest names and storylines throughout the league.
- Football Power Index: Designed to be a predictive measure of power, the FPI makes its NFL debut this season. The addition of Brian Burke, founder of the popular website Advanced Football Analytics and a leading voice in NFL analytics, will allow ESPN Stats & Info to do even more with football analytics. Each week, FPI will be used to highlight the most overrated and underrated teams.
- Top Names for News: A new joint column from Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen each Thursday, plus John Clayton’s Inside the Huddle both in column and video form throughout the week.
- An NFL ‘Front Office:’ Hall-of-Famer Bill Polian, Louis Riddick, Mark Dominik, Herm Edwards, and more, debate key personnel issues during the season.
- The Insiders: Mike Sando, Field Yates, Matt Williamson, Adam Caplan and others deliver deep breakdowns daily.
- Power Rankings: Nothing is clicked on or argued over more. This drops every Tuesday in conjunction with SportsCenter. #ESPNRANK – a preseason countdown of the top 100 players in the NFL – is also a popular feature this season.
- ‘This Guy’ for Monday Night Football: Jon Gruden calls the game, and he previews MNF every week for ESPN Insiders.
- The Hot Read: Elizabeth Merrill, Jim Trotter, Ashley Fox, Greg Garber, Kevin Van Valkenberg, Seth Wickersham and others offer weekly enterprise reporting throughout the season.
- Kiper & McShay: Mel Kiper’s Big Board and Todd McShay’s Top 32 run throughout the season, and their mock drafts start in December and run through April. Kiper’s Grades and Todd’s Best Picks won’t only live online, but feed days of post-draft TV programming, including a signature show.
- espnW: NFL coverage on espnW includes features from Kate Fagan, Jane McManus, Sarah Spain and others.
- com: Senior writer Bill Barnwell and staff writer Jonathan Abrams regularly cover NFL topics for Grantland.com.
ESPN The Magazine
The 2015 ESPN The Magazine NFL Preview issue includes in-depth analysis of all 32 NFL teams, confidential insights from more than 100 NFL players, The Mag’s 53-man Ultimate Roster, a cover profile of New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, and more. In “Revis, party of one” senior writer Mina Kimes helps uncover how the New York Jets cornerback has managed his own career better than any player in NFL history. ESPN The Magazine’s staff of writers will continue to cover NFL topics throughout the year.
ESPN Fantasy Football
The industry’s most popular fantasy football game returns for its 20th season with new content and features across ESPN platforms. The game is free for all fans and is accompanied by the most comprehensive collection of expert analysis, news, tools and statistical information in fantasy sports. Exclusive content available to ESPN Insiders includes Insider Recommends, Roster Advisor, Custom Value Generator, and Insider expert analysis from Eric Karabell, Field Yates, KC Joyner, Tim Hasselbeck and Matt Williamson, as well as Mike Clay of Pro Football Focus and special contributions from both Football Outsiders and Pro Football Focus staff writers.
The ESPN Fantasy Football app provides fantasy players on-the-go unprecedented access to their fantasy teams, including alerts regarding scores, trades and news; live auction and snake drafts; and access to Mock and Live Draft Lobbies. Across iPhone, Android and Windows Phone devices, the free-to-download app allows players to create leagues, manage teams and rosters, draft teams, participate in mock drafts, follow matchups with FantasyCast live scoring, access news, columns and videos from ESPN Fantasy analysts, view and post messages to league message boards and more. Full release.
ESPN NFL events and programming such as Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown, Monday Night Football, NFL Insiders, NFL Live and more will be streamed live on WatchESPN. Fans who receive their video subscriptions from affiliated providers can access content on computers, tablets, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and – with the exception of MNF – on smartphones.
ESPN’s award-winning news magazine show goes in-depth this fall with profiles of football’s biggest stars – including J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans. Before he became the first player in NFL history to record two 20+ sack seasons in a career, before he was named second-team All-American as a defensive end at Wisconsin, Watt was the fastest and most dependable pizza delivery driver in Pewaukee, Wis., his hometown. E:60’s Chris Connelly takes an all all-access look at the incredible rise of the three-time All-Pro, recently voted by his peers the best in all of football.
The social media destinations for ESPN’s coverage of Monday Night Football are the @ESPNMondayNight Twitter feed, the MNF Facebook page, and the @ESPNMondayNight Instagram page. @ESPNMondayNight provides exclusive on-site access to the weekly matchup and what is happening behind-the-scenes of the production. Additionally, the @ESPNNFL Twitter feed will serve as the second screen for fans watching Thursday and Sunday NFL games and delivering stats and news reports throughout the week. The feed’s visual focus includes custom art, animated gifs, player stat graphics and behind-the-scenes pictures. @ESPNNFL will also share Vine and Periscope videos and links to Sunday NFL Countdown features. Additional social media destinations for ESPN’s NFL coverage are the NFL on ESPN Facebook page and the @espnnfl Instagram page.
To download photos of Monday Night Football, ESPN NFL studio shows and network commentators, please visit the ESPN Images library. Follow ESPN Images at: @espn_images (Instagram) and @ESPNImages (Twitter).
ESPN MediaZone and ESPN Front Row
Throughout the season, NFL releases, commentator bios and more will be available via ESPN’s NFL media kit on ESPN MediaZone. Additional NFL content will be posted on ESPN’s corporate blog ESPN Front Row.