ESPN Kicks Off Monday Night Football’s 47th Season with Doubleheader

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ESPN Kicks Off Monday Night Football’s 47th Season with Doubleheader

Steelers vs. Redskins (6:55 p.m. ET) and Rams vs. 49ers (10:15 p.m.) on Sept. 12

Photos via ESPN Images

The 47th season of Monday Night Football (11th on ESPN) kicks off with a doubleheader on Monday, September 12:

Date Time (ET) Teams / Commentators
Mon, Sept. 12 6:55 p.m. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Washington Redskins

Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden and Lisa Salters

  10:15 p.m. Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers

Chris Berman, Steve Young and Lindsay Czarniak

The opener features a matchup of 2015 playoff teams – Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers against Kirk Cousins and the defending NFC East champion Redskins. It is the third time in 11 years that ESPN’s MNF is opening the season in the Nation’s Capital (2006 vs. Minnesota; 2013 vs. Philadelphia).

The late game reignites a West Coast rivalry as running back Todd Gurley and the new Los Angeles Rams make their regular-season debut on the road against the San Francisco 49ers under new head coach Chip Kelly.

MNF Production

Sean McDonough, the son of legendary Boston Globe NFL writer Will McDonough, will make his regular-season debut with Steelers-Redskins game, becoming just the fifth play-by-play voice in MNF history. McDonough joins analyst Jon Gruden (eighth season) and Lisa Salters (fifth) to call the opener in Washington and the remainder of ESPN’s 16-week regular season schedule, plus Pro Bowl and a NFL Wild Card game. Producer Jay Rothman and director Chip Dean enter their 11th season on MNF and 26th overall as a producer-director duo, including their time together on ESPN’s Sunday Night Football (2001-05) and college football for ESPN/ABC. [Note: ESPN’s MNF team participated in a media conference call last week to preview the new season. Full replay and transcript.]

ESPN’s veteran NFL host Chris Berman will handle play-by-play for the Rams-49ers game alongside analyst and 49ers Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young and reporter Lindsay Czarniak.

Before the Steelers-Redskins opener, ESPN will debut a new Monday Night Football open for the 2016 season. The 75-second open features more than 20 current NFL stars and Pro Football Hall of Famers and a Hollywood red carpet theme. Release.

Suzy Kolber Hosts Monday Night Countdown Live from FedEx Field

Leading into Steelers-Redskins, Suzy Kolber will host a special two-hour Monday Night Countdown (5 p.m., ESPN) live from FedEx Field in Landover, Md. with ESPN’s new analyst team of Trent Dilfer, Matt Hasselbeck, Randy Moss and Charles Woodson.

NFL Insider Adam Schefter will appear on the show from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios, while Berman, Young and Czarniak will be at Levi’s Stadium.

Kolber will host halftime of game 1 from FedEx Field with Dilfer, Hasselbeck, Moss and Woodson. Trey Wingo will host halftime of the late game with Herm Edwards from Bristol, Conn. SportsCenter’s Steve Levy will anchor postgame coverage from Washington.

Special ESPN TV Schedule on Monday, Sept. 12:

Time (ET) Show
12:30 p.m. NFL Primetime
1:30 p.m. NFL Insiders
2:30 p.m. NFL Live
3:30 p.m. Highly Questionable
4 p.m. Around the Horn
4:30 p.m. PTI
5 p.m. Monday Night Countdown
6:55 p.m. MNF: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Washington Redskins
10:15 p.m. MNF: Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers
1:30 am. SportsCenter
3 a.m. NFL PrimeTime

MNF Ad Campaign

ESPN’s advertising campaign for the MNF doubleheader debuted with “Double the Football,” a 30-second spot highlighting ESPN’s two NFL kickoff games. Created by ESPN Consumer Marketing and Weiden+Kennedy New York with NFL Films, the spot showcases top players in both games. ESPN’s “No Other Night is Monday Night” campaign will continue throughout the season with weekly topical spots previewing each MNF game.

Steelers’ Antonio Brown Featured in New “This Is SportsCenter” Ad

ESPN has also debuted a new This is SportsCenter commercial this week starring Steelers All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown and SportsCenter anchor Neil Everett. In the 30-second “Phone Calls” spot, Brown boasts to Everett about his potential record-breaking performance, while working as a receptionist at ESPN. Wieden+Kennedy New York is the creative agency for the This is SportsCenter franchise. To view the spot.

ESPN’s Season-Opening MNF Doubleheaders (since 2006):

Year Opening Game Late Game
2006 Minnesota 19, WASHINGTON 16 San Diego 27, OAKLAND 0
2007 CINCINNATI 27, Baltimore 20 SAN FRANCISCO 20, Arizona 17
2008 GREEN BAY 24, Minnesota 19 Denver 41, OAKLAND 14
2009 NEW ENGLAND 25, Buffalo 24 San Diego 24, OAKLAND 20
2010 Baltimore 10, NEW YORK JETS 9 KANSAS CITY 21, San Diego 14
2011 New England 38, MIAMI 24 Oakland 23, DENVER 20
2012 BALTIMORE 44, Cincinnati 13 San Diego 22, OAKLAND 14
2013 Philadelphia 33, WASHINGTON 27 Houston 31, SAN DIEGO 28
2014 DETROIT 35, New York Giants 14 ARIZONA 18, San Diego 17
2015 ATLANTA 26, Philadelphia 24 San Francisco 20, Minnesota 3

Home teams in CAPS

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Bill Hofheimer

I oversee ESPN’s College Sports PR, while also working on ESPN soccer, Around the Horn, PTI and more. Previously oversaw communications for ESPN's Monday Night Football and NFL studio shows.
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