Charm City Calling: Texans at Ravens Clash Saturday in ESPN’s First Divisional Round Playoff Game; AFC South Champion vs. AFC No. 1 Seed Available on ESPN, ABC, ESPN+ & ESPN Deportes

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Charm City Calling: Texans at Ravens Clash Saturday in ESPN’s First Divisional Round Playoff Game; AFC South Champion vs. AFC No. 1 Seed Available on ESPN, ABC, ESPN+ & ESPN Deportes

  • Kick Off from M&T Bank Stadium at 4:15 p.m. ET with Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Lisa Salters and Laura Rutledge
  • Postseason NFL Countdown Live in Baltimore at 2 p.m. Leading into Game
  • NFL Primetime and 10+ hours of SportsCenter Add to Coverage Throughout Divisional Weekend
  • Divisional Playoff Game Highlights ESPN’s Growing Postseason Offerings

The Divisional round of the NFL Playoffs will begin on ESPN, the latest enhancement to ESPN’s NFL portfolio, made possible by the newest media rights agreement. In the company’s inaugural second round game, the Houston Texans visit the Baltimore Ravens (Saturday, January 20, 4:15 p.m. ET) on ESPN, ABC, ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes, as the AFC South Champion meets the AFC’s top-seeded team. Each is led by their dynamic quarterback: C.J. Stroud and Lamar Jackson, the NFL’s presumptive Offensive Rookie of the Year and MVP, respectively.

Postseason NFL Countdown (2:00 – 4:15 p.m.) will kick off ESPN’s full coverage from M&T Bank Stadium, with ESPN’s pregame show providing a breakdown of the matchup with thoughtful analysis, discussion and storytelling. Scott Van Pelt, Ryan Clark, Robert Griffin III, Marcus Spears and Michelle Beisner-Buck will bring fans all the sights and sounds from on the field, setting the tone for the afternoon.

Saturday morning editions of SportsCenter and coverage across Get Up, First Take, The Pat McAfee Show and NFL Live, in the days leading into the game, will complement ESPN’s coverage of Texans-Ravens.

Buck and Aikman Conclude Second Season with ESPN, Their Record Setting 22nd Overall as a Pair; Salters and Rutledge Report from the Field
Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, the longest-tenured broadcast booth partners in NFL history, will be on the call, alongside Emmy-award winning reporter Lisa Salters (Ravens) and Laura Rutledge (Texans), who has worked a CFP Semifinal and Super Wild Card game this month, across the networks. Former Super Bowl referee John Parry will serve as the officiating analyst.

Buck and Aikman’s record-setting season culminates in Baltimore as Salters also concludes a milestone season extending her own record as the longest-standing Monday Night Football sideline reporter (she began in 2012). This follows a regular season that saw the television series achieve its highest viewership in 23 seasons and its four most-watched games since the 2000 season.

The Spanish-language presentation will be available on ESPN Deportes with Rebeca Landa, Sergio Dipp, Katia Castorena and John Sutcliffe­­ on the call.

Divisional Game Key Part of ESPN’s Significant Media Rights Deal with the NFL
Moving forward, ESPN will air a Super Wild Card and a Divisional game annually for the duration of the 10-year agreement. In February of 2027 and 2031, ESPN will also present Super Bowl LXI and Super Bowl LXV. The media rights agreement, announced in March of 2021, elevated ESPN’s regular season game inventory from 17 games to 23 games, among other benefits.

Postseason NFL Countdown Officially Kicks Off ESPN’s Coverage from Baltimore
The Postseason NFL Countdown crew, in addition to previewing Texans-Ravens and Divisional weekend as a whole, will also include the following highlighted segments:

  • The Turnaround – After going 11-38-1 over the past three seasons and finishing with the second-worst record in the NFL last year, the Texans franchise – and its fans – have been revitalized by two rookies: head coach DeMeco Ryans and quarterback C.J. Stroud.
  • J. Stroud Conversation – The Texans QB sat down with Michelle Beisner-Buck to look back at his rookie season and discuss the moment he knew the team could make a run in the postseason.
  • Lamar Jackson Conversation – The Ravens QB sat down with Chris Berman to talk about the growth in his game and why he thinks this postseason run will be different than the past.
  • Who’s Got it Better Than Us? – The mantra that molded the Harbaugh brothers. The lessons John and Jim learned from their father and how they’ve used them on the way to championships at both levels.

From 7 a.m.-Noon, SportsCenter will provide fans all the latest news and information. Louis Riddick and Jeremy Fowler will be in-studio and NFL national reporters will join from Saturday’s two game sites:

  • Sal Paolantonio at M&T Stadium (Texans at Ravens)
  • Lindsey Thiry at Levi’s Stadium (Packers at 49ers)

On Sunday’s programming, ESPN will have NFL national reporters at Sunday’s two game sites:

  • Kimberley A. Martin at Ford Field (Bucs at Lions)
  • Jeff Darlington (Chiefs) and Dan Graziano (Bills) at Highmark Stadium

Second Episode of Postseason NFL Countdown, NFL Primetime Highlights Extensive Coverage of Divisional Weekend
On Sunday, Postseason NFL Countdown will return at a special time, noon-3 p.m., leading into the Buccaneers at Lions and Chiefs at Bills, with five hours of SportsCenter (7 a.m. – Noon) to begin the day. Larry Fitzgerald will join Sam Ponder, Rex Ryan, Randy Moss, Alex Smith, Tedy Bruschi and Adam Schefter in-studio. Highlights include:

  • Patrick Mahomes Conversation – The Chiefs QB sits down with Chris Berman to discuss the Chiefs unique path to the postseason and the rivalry with Josh Allen and the Bills.
  • Dan Campbell Conversation – In September the Lions coach asked his team to stand and read the signs on the back wall; the dates of the last Division title, last playoff win and last championship. They’ve now accomplished two out of the three of those marks and Rex Ryan went to Detroit to see how the coach has turned the team around.

More information on Postseason NFL Countdown will be announced.

On both Saturday and Sunday, NFL Primetime with Chris Berman and Booger McFarland will follow the late games, airing at approximately 11:20 p.m. and 9:20 p.m., respectively, on ESPN+. Also, on ESPN+, a new episode of NFL Matchup, hosted by Sal Paolantonio, will be available on demand Saturday morning.

ESPN Digital Platforms Cover all Angles of Divisional Weekend
ESPN digital platforms will include coverage from ESPN NFL Nation reporters onsite with additional feature stories including:

  • 49ers’ Brock Purdy uses internal motivation to maintain edge,” by Nick Wagoner (available on ESPN.com)
  • Which young quarterbacks are best set up to win the Super Bowl next season? Let’s rank them,” by Bill Barnwell (available on ESPN+)
  • Lamar Jackson enters his proving ground,” by Jamison Hensley (available on ESPN.com)
  • NFL Divisional game guide,” by NFL Nation (available on ESPN.com)

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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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