ESPN NFL Content Update – 2016 Kickoff Weekend

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ESPN NFL Content Update – 2016 Kickoff Weekend

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New ESPN Analysts Matt Hasselbeck, Randy Moss and Charles Woodson Make Sunday NFL Countdown Debut Sept. 11

ESPN’s new Sunday NFL Countdown crew makes its debut on September 11 at 11 a.m. ET. In his 32nd season quarterbacking ESPN’s signature NFL pregame show, Chris Berman hosts with a new slate of analysts – Matt Hasselbeck, Randy Moss and Charles Woodson and NFL analyst and Super Bowl-winning quarterback Trent Dilfer. Additionally, Wendi Nix will host segments, NFL Insider Adam Schefter will have the latest league news and senior fantasy sports analyst Matthew Berry will share his insights on the day’s matchups. Feature reporters include Annie Apple, Frank Caliendo, Greg Garber, Jade McCarthy and Jim Trotter.

Additionally, Sunday will mark the debut of “Countdown Cam” – a new, recurring segment on the show featuring a behind-the-scene look at one player each week preparing for an early afternoon game. This week’s featured player is Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

Sunday NFL Countdown is preceded by NFL Insiders: Sunday Edition (10 a.m., ESPN) with host Trey Wingo, Mark Dominik (filling in for Chris Mortensen), Louis Riddick and Schefter.

Reporter assignments for week 1:


  • 15th Anniversary of September 11: Countdown’s Adam Schefter offers a unique perspective on the lasting impact of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. Players and coaches from around the NFL also share their memories of where they were on that tragic day.
  • Frank Caliendo: Following Mike Tirico’s departure from ESPN, comedian and impersonator Frank Caliendo – appearing as Jon Gruden, Robert De Niro and Jack Black – headlines a series of faux celebrity auditions for Tirico’s replacement in the Monday Night Football The segment features cameos by comedians Dean Edwards (Tracy Morgan and 50 Cent) and Melissa Villasenor, who plays Sarah Silverman and Barbara Walters.
  • Matthew Berry: Berry offers his fantasy “Loves and Hates” for the week and breaks down the active and inactive players as they are released before kickoff.

MNF Season-Opening Doubleheader: Steelers vs. Redskins and Rams vs. 49ers

The 47th season of Monday Night Football (11th on ESPN) begins on September 12 with a doubleheader: Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Washington Redskins at 6:55 p.m. ET, and the new Los Angeles Rams at the San Francisco 49ers at 10:15 p.m.

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. 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. Both games will be available on ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN.

Monday Night Countdown: Kirk Cousins on Gruden’s Grill; Antonio Brown’s Snapchat; and more

Leading into Steelers-Redskins, Suzy Kolber will host a two-hour Monday Night Countdown pregame at 5 p.m. with analysts Trent Dilfer, Matt Hasselbeck, Randy Moss and Charles Woodson live from FedEx Field in Landover, Md. Michelle Beisner-Buck will make her debut as Monday Night Countdown’s new feature reporter. NFL Insider Adam Schefter and senior fantasy analyst Matthew Berry will join from the ESPN studios in Bristol. Lindsay Czarniak and analyst Steve Young will be in Santa Clara.

Monday Night Countdown highlights:

  • Gruden’s Grill Session with Kirk Cousins: After a breakout year, Kirk Cousins enters the 2016 season with the added pressure of playing under the franchise tag. The Redskins quarterback visits with Super Bowl-winning coach and MNF’s Jon Gruden.
  • Michelle Beisner-Buck Feature – Antonio Brown’s Snapchat: Beisner-Buck dives into the world of Snapchat with Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, one of the social media platform’s most prolific users.
  • Colin Kaepernick Coverage: 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision not to stand during the national anthem has ignited a nationwide conversation. Countdown will offer reports from Levi’s Stadium in advance of the Rams-49ers game.
  • C’Mon Man: The popular segment returns to Monday Night Countdown for another season, highlighting the moments and blunders from the NFL weekend that had our analysts saying, “C’Mon Man!”

ESPN Radio’s Season-opening Sunday Doubleheader: Bengals at Jets and Lions at Colts

ESPN Radio will kick off the 2016 season on Sunday, Sept. 11, with a doubleheader: Cincinnati Bengals-New York Jets at 1 p.m. (Commentator Marc Kestecher, analyst Shaun O’Hara and reporter Dave Shore), followed by the Detroit Lions at Indianapolis Colts at 4 p.m. with Adam Amin, Bill Polian and Ian Fitzsimmons.

ESPN Radio’s McNabb & Custer Debuts Sunday at 10 p.m.

ESPN Radio’s new three-hour program, McNabb & Custer, hosted by former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb and veteran Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Brian Custer, will premiere Sunday, Sept. 11, at 10 p.m. The show is part of a re-tooled weekend lineup that focuses on college football and the NFL – the final word on the weekend’s games.


Mac Nwulu

I joined ESPN in 1998 and since then, it's been a great experience managing PR and communications for a range of ESPN initiatives and properties over the years. I am currently focused on soccer and The Undefeated, ESPN’s site focusing on sports, race and urban culture and how they intersect.
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