Sunday NFL Countdown Back for 2023 NFL Season as Iconic Show Nears 40 Years of Excellence


Sunday NFL Countdown Back for 2023 NFL Season as Iconic Show Nears 40 Years of Excellence

  • Three-Time Pro Bowl Quarterback Alex Smith Joins the Cast, Joins Hall of Famer Randy Moss and Super Bowl Champions Tedy Bruschi and Rex Ryan as Show’s Analysts
  • Senior NFL Insider Adam Schefter Returns, along with Host Sam Ponder for Her Seventh Season
  • Week 1 Episode Includes Cowboys’ Jerry Jones One-on-One and Exclusive Access with Dolphins’ Head Coach Mike McDaniel in Addition to Breakdowns, Insights and Analysis Synonymous with the Show

ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown returns ahead of a full slate in Week 1 (September 10, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET) as the long-running Sunday morning pregame show brings fans real-time news, in-depth discussion around the league’s biggest games, storylines and matchups, feature storytelling, on-site reporting and more. Elements that are synonymous with the show’s decades long history continue, including award-winning features on unique, untold stories from around the NFL and live reports by ESPN’s veteran group of national reporters from the sidelines of the biggest games, bringing fans news as action unfolds.

Alex Smith, Former Number One Overall NFL Draft Selection, Joins the Cast
Under a new agreement with ESPN, 16-year NFL quarterback turned analyst, Alex Smith, will join Sunday NFL Countdown, elevating his role with ESPN which began in 2021. Hall of Famer Randy Moss, three-time Super Bowl champion Tedy Bruschi and Super Bowl champion coach Rex Ryan return as analysts with NFL senior insider Adam Schefter contributing throughout the show. Sam Ponder, returns as the show’s host, a role she’s held since 2017.

In addition to Sunday NFL Countdown, Smith will also appear on multiple editions of Monday Night Countdown shows – including Week 1 from MetLife Stadium (Bills at Jets) – as he has in each of the last two seasons. Smith has previously worked alongside the Sunday NFL Countdown team, appearing on Postseason NFL Countdown multiple times. More on Smith can be found here.

Appointment Viewing Every Sunday Morning Through Super Bowl Sunday
Inclusive of its 2023 season debut, Sunday NFL Countdown will air every Sunday morning through Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 11, 2024). Special editions of Postseason NFL Countdown will air on Saturdays during Week 18 (Jan. 6), Super Wild Card Weekend (Jan. 13) and Divisional Weekend (Jan. 20).

Sunday NFL Countdown Looks to Build on Viewership Success
Sunday NFL Countdown enters the season with extreme momentum after achieving multiple viewership milestones last season. The show recorded its best regular season viewership since 2019 and was up 7% vs. the previous regular season (2021). Among adults 18-24, the show was up 13% and female viewership was up 8%. An average of 1,240,000 viewers tuned-in throughout the 2022 regular season.

Highlights for the Week 1 edition of Sunday NFL Countdown’s include:

  • Segments:
    • You Got Mossed!: Randy Moss to break down the best catches from the 2023 NFL offseason
    • Film Wall: What are the keys to the Cowboys’ success in forcing turnovers against the Giants?
  • Features:
    • Aaron Rodgers conversation with ESPN Tennis Commentator, John McEnroe: The Jets quarterback sits down with McEnroe, a New York native, to talk about the excitement, expectation and pressure of playing in the Big Apple.
    • 865: Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel provides ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington all-access into a day-in-his-life where he reveals how his alcoholism almost cost him his NFL dreams.
    • Jerry Jones conversation with ESPN NFL Nation Reporter Todd Archer: The Cowboys’ owner sits down with Archer to talk about his motivation to get back to the Super Bowl, the Trey Lance deal, and the future of quarterback Dak Prescott and head coach Mike McCarthy.
  • Reporters:
    • Jeff Darlington at Acrisure Stadium for 49ers-Steelers
    • Dan Graziano at MetLife Stadium for Cowboys-Giants
    • Kimberley A. Martin at Cleveland Browns Stadium for Bengals-Browns
    • Sal Paolantonio at Gillette Stadium for Eagles-Patriots
    • Lindsey Thiry at Soldier Field for Packers-Bears

Note: A full rundown of Sunday NFL Countdown’s Week 1 edition will be released on Saturday, Sept. 9.


Media Contacts:
Derek Volner ([email protected])
Lily Blum ([email protected])

Lily Blum

Based in New York City, Lily Blum is a Senior Publicist with a focus on ESPN’s NFL portfolio.
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