Season-Opening MNF Doubleheader with games at New Meadowlands and Renovated Arrowhead Stadiums September 13
ESPN’s Monday Night Football kicks off with a doubleheader Monday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. ET when Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets host Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens in a matchup of AFC playoff teams from a year ago in the first primetime regular season game at the New Meadowlands Stadium. In the nightcap (10:15 p.m.), Phillip Rivers and the defending AFC West champion San Diego Chargers battle Matt Cassel and the Kansas City Chiefs in the first regular season game at the newly renovated Arrowhead Stadium, one of the NFL’s iconic venues — and the first MNF game in Kansas City since Nov. 22, 2004.
Mike Tirico and analysts Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski will call the Ravens-Jets, and Brad Nessler and Trent Dilfer will be in the booth for the late game. MNF reporters Michele Tafoya (Meadowlands) and Suzy Kolber (Arrowhead) will provide updates on the teams throughout the day.
New MNF Technology in 2010:
Already one of the most highly-sophisticated productions in sports television, MNF will feature a host of new enhancements in 2010. Highlights:
- Virtual telestrator – Using the ORAD MVP system, this multi-channel virtual telestrator has been upgraded specifically for MNF. Using multiple camera feeds, Gruden and Jaworski can select the best angle of a play to diagram in real-time. They can highlight individual or groups of players, as well as specific zones on the field. The system is calibrated so virtual graphics appear cleanly on the screen and do not obstruct the viewer from seeing how plays develop. It also calculates unique stats like the actual distance a player runs on a particular play.
- Maxx Zoom – ESPN is mounting clusters of small cameras (four each) perpendicular at the left and right goal-lines on both the near and far sidelines. Each camera, 2-3 inches square, is mounted in an adjustable frame and then fixed on the goal-line shooting a specific area of the field up to eight times normal HD resolution. The images from the cameras are aligned using stitching technology to create large hi-resolution panoramic images that can be zoomed and manipulated in order to show close ups in the red zone and goal-line situations. Similar cameras will also be positioned at the 50-yard line to help analyze key plays during games;
- E-Strator – Similar to the virtual touchscreen that is used on SportsCenter, the new E-strator will be used by Gruden and Jaworski in the MNF booth to illustrate plays and track game statistics.
- Hi-speed cameras –MNF has added two new “ultra slo-mo” cameras that will be used at a rate of up to 500-600-frames per second (though they are capable of up to 1,000 per second), replacing a pair of 300-frames per second “super slo-mo” cameras that were used a year ago. The move will ensure even clearer resolution and clarity on some replays and isolation shots;
- 5.1 Surround Sound – ESPN’s MNF will be produced in 5.1 surround sound for the first time this fall.
- Tech Center on MNF bus – The specially-designed motor coach that travels to each week’s MNF game is equipped with a customized interview area/film room for the 2010 season. The MNF crew will conduct meetings on the bus. Also, following the success of the popular “Gruden’s QB Camp” special in April, “Gruden Extra” will be a new weekly three-minute feature on Monday Night Countdown as ESPN’s Super Bowl-winning coach will sit down for an interview and film session with an impact player in advance of each week’s MNF game, beginning with the Jets’ Darrelle Revis in week 1.
To view examples of some of these new MNF technology elements, click here.
Hank and Frank are back!
Hank Williams Jr. is back on MNF for his 22nd season to perform “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night.” Williams appears in the opening video, which is set at an art gallery amidst framed images of NFL players and coaches. The video was filmed this summer in Nashville, Tenn., with Williams and the Tennessee Volunteers dance team. It will debut before the Ravens-Jets game and a different version will kick off each of ESPN’s 17 MNF games this season. Williams will even sing some lyrics in Spanish before the Packers-Bears game Sept. 27 as part of ESPN’s involvement in the NFL’s Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration. To preview the open, click here. For images, click here.
Legendary NFL player and broadcaster Frank Gifford – whose 27 years (1971-97) in the ABC booth gives him the longest tenure of any broadcaster in MNF history – will return to MNF for the second straight season to highlight a key moment in the series’ 40-year history at the start of each week’s ESPN telecast.
Monday Night Football Chalk Talk Series
The Monday Night Football Chalk Talk Series returns for its fourth year with seven events, beginning Sept. 13 at Cipriani 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan before the Jets-Ravens game. ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap will host with co-host Greg Buttle, former Jets linebacker and co-host of 1050 ESPN Radio’s Jets Gameday show. Anticipated guests include NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Jets Chairman & CEO Woody Johnson, and ESPN President George Bodenheimer. MNF’s Tirico, Gruden and Jaworski will be part of the program, along with alumni players from both teams. Chalk Talk events will also include an ESPN RISE Above Award segment. For the complete release on the Chalk Talk series, click here.
ESPN NFL Studio Shows
ESPN’s NFL studio shows return in earnest Sunday, Sept. 12, for Kickoff Weekend, starting early with fan favorite NFL Matchup (4:30 a.m., 5:30 a.m. (ESPN2) and 7:30 a.m.) hosted by Sal Paolantonio with analysts Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge. Chris Berman, recipient of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2010 Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award, returns for his 25th season as host of the Emmy Award-winning Sunday NFL Countdown presented by IBM (11 a.m.), where he will be joined by analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson and Chris Mortensen, and Insider Adam Schefter for the two-hour weekly NFL preview show. After the games, Berman and Jackson will be joined by John Saunders and Trent Dilfer throughout the season during the 7 p.m. SportsCenter to review all the day’s action. Berman and Jackson will team up again at 11 p.m. for “The Blitz” on SportsCenter to discuss all the day’s games and highlights.
ESPN’s day-long Monday Night Football coverage begins with NFL Live each week at 3:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m. on Sept. 13), followed by NFL Primetime at 4 p.m. (2 p.m. on Sept. 13) with Trey Wingo and analysts Hoge and Dilfer. SportsCenter Monday Kickoff presented by Miller Lite begins at 6 p.m. (4 p.m. on Sept. 13), followed by Monday Night Countdown served by Applebee’s at 7 p.m. (5 p.m. on Sept. 13) with Berman, Carter, Jackson, Johnson, Mortensen and Schefter in Bristol, Stuart Scott, Matt Millen, Steve Young and reporter Michele Tafoya at the New Meadowlands Stadium and Suzy Kolber in Kansas City. Following the Monday Night Football telecast, Scott, Millen and Young will return for SportsCenter at 11:30 p.m. (1:30 a.m. on Sept. 13) and an updated NFL PrimeTime at 1 a.m. (3 a.m. on Sept. 13).
ESPN’s NFL Season Sunday Schedule:
|3 a.m. or 4:30 a.m., 5:30 a.m. (ESPN2), and 7:30 a.m.||NFL Matchup|
|11 a.m.||Sunday NFL Countdown presented by IBM|
|11:30 a.m.||Fantasy Football Now delivered by Papa John’s (ESPN2)|
|7 p.m.||SportsCenter presented by Verizon|
|11 p.m.||“The Blitz” on SportsCenter|
ESPN’s NFL Season Monday Schedule (beginning Sept. 20):
|3:30 p.m.||NFL Live|
|4 p.m.||NFL Primetime|
|6 p.m.||SportsCenter Monday Kickoff presented by Miller Lite|
|7 p.m.||Monday Night Countdown served by Applebee’s|
|8:30 p.m.||Monday Night Football|
|1 a.m.||NFL Primetime (updated)|
* The opening week schedule on Sept. 13 begins at 1:30 p.m. due to MNF doubleheader
On Monday, Sept.13, ESPN Radio 1050AM NY will broadcast The Michael Kay Show live from the New Meadowlands Stadium from 3-7 p.m., where ESPN Radio’s Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg of Mike and Mike in the Morning (ESPN Radio/ESPN2) will join him.
Starting Sept. 10 on ESPN Radio, MNF play-by-play voice Mike Tirico will host Mike Tirico’s Weekend Blitz (Fridays, 8 p.m.), joined by Mortensen and Keyshawn Johnson. Game day coverage will begin Sundays at 10 a.m., with Countdown to Kickoff hosted by Jon Stashower. Senior writer John Clayton and analysts Mortensen and Jackson will help preview the day’s games, in addition to live, on-site reports from each game site. Beginning at 1 p.m., Freddie Coleman, Eric Allen and Marcellus Wiley will present live updates from every game and have postgame interviews and a preview of Monday Night Football on the NFL on ESPN Radio. Football Tonight (Mondays, 7 p.m.) will review all of Sunday’s action and preview that night’s ESPN MNF game.
ESPN Radio NFL Studio Programming:
|Friday||8-9 p.m.||Mike Tirico’s Weekend Blitz “NFL Edition”||Mike Tirico, Chris Mortensen, Keyshawn Johnson|
|Sunday||10 a.m. – 1 p.m.||Countdown to Kickoff
|John Stashower, Tom Jackson, Chris Mortensen, John Clayton|
|Sunday||1-8 p.m.||The NFL on ESPN Radio||Freddie Coleman, Eric Allen, Marcellus Wiley|
|Monday||7-8 p.m.||Football Tonight||Chuck Wilson|
New in 2010, ESPN.com will feature NFL highlights from every NFL game, including Monday Night Football, plus press conferences, interviews and analysis. Additionally, Monday Night HQ presented by Toyota will again be the central hub on ESPN.com for complete MNF coverage. The page will include:
- Twitter module to aggregate tweets from ESPN.com bloggers and ESPN personalities;
- Video of the MNF intros;
- AccuScore breakdown of every MNF game;
- Intel report breakdown of every MNF game;
- ESPN NFL bloggers at every MNF game;
- The “Cover It Live” tool, real-time interaction with ESPN.com bloggers at each MNF game and viewers.
ESPN.com will also be the home of Sunday Breakdown, a weekly digital program that will cover the biggest storylines from Sunday’s games. Eric Allen and other ESPN personalities will host the show, available after 9:30 p.m. ET each Sunday during the NFL season. Additionally, ESPN.com will offer an exclusive half-hour of Fantasy Football Now live from 10:30-11 a.m. each Sunday prior to airing live on ESPN2 at 11:30 a.m.
ESPN Mobile will include two apps for 2010 (iPhone and iPad), ESPN Pinball and Map Madness.
- ESPN Pinball, which includes football, basketball and soccer themed tables, will also include the Monday Night Football schedule in 2010. Each tabled sport will include minigames, authentic special effects, precise physics, play-by-play commentating with ESPN SportsCenter host Jay Harris, global leaderboards and Facebook integration.
- Map Madness, the No. 1 overall game on ESPN Arcade, taps into the avid sport fan’s competitive nature by challenging their knowledge of teams, players, history and geography. ESPN will feature two maps for College and Pro Football questions, including the MNF schedule (3 Rounds of 10 questions with global leaderboards, Facebook and Twitter integration).
ESPN Deportes, the U.S. Spanish-language network, will present live coverage of 17 regular season MNF games. Former NFL placekicker Raul Allegre returns to serve as analyst during the games, along with sideline reporter John Sutcliffe. ESPN Deportes’ coverage will feature a Monday night pregame show NFL Esta Noche with hosts Eduardo Varela and Pablo Viruega. In addition, ESPN Deportes’ weekly show NFL Semanal returns every Friday night with commentators Ciro Procuna, Raul Allegre and John Sutcliffe providing analysis and highlights. ESPN and the NFL will also present a special Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration surrounding the Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears MNF game, on Sept. 27.
ESPN has expanded its NFL coverage internationally, now reaching more than 150 countries outside the U.S., including exclusive coverage of more than 125 games per season, as well as award-winning ESPN studio programming. ESPN will showcase more NFL programming than ever before in 2010, highlighted by:
- Live coverage of the Super Bowl across all territories;
- Live coverage of 49 regular season and playoff games in Brazil, Australia and the Pacific Rim, sub-Saharan Africa, and Israel;
- Live coverage of 41 regular season and playoff games in Mexico, Central and South America, and Caribbean;
- Live coverage of 84 regular season and playoff games in the Middle East and North Africa;
- ESPN America in Europe will feature at least 125 live NFL games throughout the season – culminating in live coverage of the Super Bowl.
- ESPN’s Monday Night Football in all territories;
- Digital highlight rights and live MNF streaming in select markets;
- ESPN remains the exclusive syndication agent to cruise ships worldwide for all pre-season, regular season, playoffs, Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, NFL Network, NFL Films, NFL Sunday Ticket, NFL Red Zone Channel, and NFL GameDay;
- ESPN networks will feature NFL Films original programming, including Super Bowl Highlights, Yearbooks, Greatest Games, NFL Films Presents and more.
For the first time, ESPN and ESPN HD will bring live coverage of all 17 regular season Monday Night Football games to the UK, beginning Sept. 13, at midnight with the Ravens at Jets followed by the Chargers at Chiefs at 3 a.m. Pre-game coverage will begin with Monday Night Countdown at 10 p.m. For more information on ESPN’s global coverage of the NFL, click here.
ESPN The Magazine
ESPN The Magazine’s 2010 NFL preview issue, featuring Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis on the cover, is on newsstands now. Features include: ESPN The Magazine’s photo-act “Faces Of The Game”— a photographic tribute to the stars, suits and surprises who make the NFL what it is today; “Five Days In The Life of an NFL Coach” shining the light on Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini; and ESPN The Magazine’s latest “NFL Confidential” survey. To view the complete release, click here.
ESPN’S MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
ESPN’s Monday Night Football is the most-watched series in cable television history. In four seasons on ESPN, Monday Night Football has registered eight of the top 10 all-time biggest household audiences in cable history, led by the Green Bay Packers-Minnesota Vikings telecast (10/5/09), which attracted cable’s largest household audience ever (an average of 15,136,000 million homes and 21,839,000 viewers). For the 2009 season, ESPN’s MNF delivered the 15 biggest household audiences (and top 14 among viewers) for cable television in 2009, averaging a 10.4 rating and 10,315,000 homes (14,382,000 viewers). It was also the first time on ESPN that the series averaged higher than a 10 rating and 14 million viewers for the season. Accompanying NFL content on ESPN.com, including “Monday Night HQ,” sparked an increase of Monday traffic to the site of 24% over the previous season with an average 84.6 million page views per week.
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