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- Signature NFL Pregame Shows Shift Location for 2020 Season Due to Covid-19 Pandemic
- Sunday NFL Countdown Roster Returns for Another Year; Booger McFarland Joins Monday Night Countdown
- Both Pregame Shows Delivered Substantial Audience Growth Last Season
ESPN’s premiere NFL pregame shows, Sunday NFL Countdown (10 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET) and Monday Night Countdown (6-8 p.m.), will originate from a new rooftop studio within the network’s New York Seaport District studios for the 2020 season, as both programs adjust locations in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. With views of the Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Heights and the East River as the backdrop, ESPN’s newest studio location is climate-controlled, allowing for programming to originate from this location throughout the football season. In addition to the network’s flagship NFL pregame shows, the NBA Countdown pregame show will emanate from the new studio space for the Eastern Conference Finals on ESPN and NBA Finals on ABC.
In previous seasons, Sunday NFL Countdown originated from ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Conn., while Monday Night Countdown was televised from Monday Night Football game sites.
Continuity on Sunday NFL Countdown; Cast Returns for Another Season
Sunday NFL Countdown returns analysts and NFL veterans Tedy Bruschi (second season), Matt Hasselbeck (fifth), Randy Moss (fifth) and Rex Ryan (fourth), as continuity continues on the show. Each of the analysts joined the show following immense success in the league. Moss, who was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018, and Bruschi, a three-time Super Bowl champion, earned four and two All Pro team appearances, respectively. Together with Hasselbeck, who led the Seattle Seahawks to Super Bowl XL, they were named to a combined 10 Pro Bowls. Ryan, a former NFL head coach with two decades worth of experience in the league, won Super Bowl XXXV as a defensive coordinator and made back-to-back AFC Championships as a head coach.
Sam Ponder returns for her fourth year hosting the program, as the Phoenix native enters her 10th football season with the network. Senior NFL Insiders Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen will continue with the latest news around the NFL, while reporters Jeff Darlington, Dan Graziano, Kimberley A. Martin, Sal Paolantonio, Dianna Russini, and Ed Werder will be on site at NFL stadiums. Paolantonio, a staple of ESPN’s NFL coverage, recently celebrated his 25th anniversary with the network.
Monday Night Countdown Welcomes Booger McFarland
Monday Night Countdown welcomes two-time Super Bowl champion Booger McFarland this season, as he joins returning analysts Moss and three-time Super Bowl champion, Super Bowl MVP and Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Young. Host Suzy Kolber returns for her fourth year as solo host and Schefter will once again be a regular, continuing to provide fans the most in-depth news from across the league. Young will provide insight from Monday Night Football game sites most weeks, with the remaining analysts from Seaport District Studio. Michelle Beisner-Buck will also return as an NFL features reporter.
Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown Grew Audience Substantially in 2019
Both Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown grew their audience substantially in 2019, as Sunday’s audience was up 8% and Monday’s up 13%, the best among all NFL pregame shows on any network last season.
Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown – NFL Week 1 Highlights
The season premiere of Sunday NFL Countdown will preview the 13 games on the opening Sunday of the NFL season, as well feature various discussions on major storylines including Tom Brady’s first game as a Buccaneer, quarterback Cam Newton’s first start with New England, reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson and the Ravens and more. Fan favorite segments return including ‘You Got Mossed,’ Insider Updates, and, of course, game selections. ESPN’s reporters are expected to be at six NFL stadiums:
- Paolantonio – Philadelphia at Washington
- Graziano – Miami at New England
- Russini – Green Bay at Minnesota
- Martin – Cleveland at Baltimore
- Darlington – Tampa Bay at New Orleans
- Werder – Dallas at Los Angeles Rams
Monday Night Countdown (5-7 p.m.) will set the stage for the ESPN’s season-opening doubleheader, featuring the Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants (7 p.m.) followed by Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos (10:15 p.m. ET). In addition to previewing both matchups, fans can get a complete recap of the biggest news and storylines coming out of the first Sunday of action. Additionally, Kirk Herbstreit will interview Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Both shows will continue their in-depth storytelling as ESPN’s award-winning features unit teams with the network’s reporters to capture the most intriguing stories from around the league. In week 1:
- Ending Elsewhere (Sunday NFL Countdown): Hall of Fame quarterbacks Brett Favre and Joe Montana and future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning explain what it will be like for Tom Brady to finish his career on a different team. Beisner-Buck reports.
- Super Scout Turned HOF Finalist (Monday Night Countdown): Billy Nunn was scout for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s, early on in a career that has landed him one step away from the Hall of Fame. Nunn made his mark finding hidden talents at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, many of whom went on to propel the Steelers to a decade of dominance. Martin reports.
Please note: More features and interviews will be added in the coming days
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