Tuesday, May 7th, 2013


Fred Gaudelli Opening Remarks: As I’m sure you know, since the inception of Sunday Night Football on NBC, “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night” has opened every Sunday Night telecast. Pink performed it the first season in 2006 and Faith Hill has performed it every season since then. And now I am beyond thrilled to welcome the latest superstar to Sunday Night Football.

She’s had 17 singles go to #1 on the Billboard charts, a six-time Grammy award winner, who’s sold over 15 million albums, and she’s done it in only eight short years.  She’s the only woman to win the Academy of Country Music’s entertainer of the year award twice.  Carrie Underwood will now open television’s highest rated show with a brand new version of “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night.” Carrie, welcome to Sunday Night Football.

Carrie Underwood Opening Remarks: Thank you. I’m very excited. I think it’s a perfect fit and I am such a sports fan and football fan, and we love Sunday nights around my household, so for me to be a part of it is something really special.

Gaudelli on the decision to make the change: Faith called me in February and told me she thought it was time for her to, as she put it, “pass the torch” and let someone else “rock the open.” So at that point I really only had one person in my sight and that was Carrie. Interestingly back in 2006 when we got the package, Carrie was in my sights back then too and the stars didn’t align that time. But fortunately, this time they did. She’s the only person I spoke to about this.

Underwood on how long it took to say “yes”: Not long. Like [Fred] said, way back when, we kind of had them on the radar for Sunday Night Football, so I guess I had a long time to watch Faith be so amazing at it and bring such an energy to the event every Sunday night. So for me, to have that opportunity to follow in her footsteps and do something really cool like that, it sounded like fun. And like I said, this is something that’s been a part of our household for a while now and to be a part of that is exciting. I can’t wait.

Gaudelli on the evolution of “Waiting All Day on Sunday Night”: Just the evolution, I think, there really are two major components: I think obviously having the right song, a really good song that connects with people and kind of sticks in your head, and then a great performer. Pink kicked it off and Faith did it wonderfully for six years, and I think Carrie is going to bring a new dimension to it – something that is going to be singular to her, and it’s just a fun way to kick off a game. On Sunday night, we think of it as more than a game, it’s primetime. There is an entertainment component to what we do and this is a significant part of that component. It’s a mixture of that. An iconic opening.

Gaudelli on Players Being in the Open: We really like to showcase the players in this, and we’ve tried to do that (through the years). This year should be no different. We’ll be inviting them – I wanted to make the announcement before we started contacting players to come out and shoot but you don’t really ever get a “no.” They all want to be a part of this.  We’ll be having players this year.

Underwood on how she will adapt “Waiting All Day on Sunday Night”: Musically, it’s our first step. We definitely wanted to make it sound different and sound like me. Faith put her stamp on it for a long time and did such a wonderful job and it was totally Faith, she owned it. We wanted to be mindful of that and go in and change things up a little bit. So they’re actually going to be recording that here pretty soon, and then I’ll be able to go in to the studio and do what I do. And then everything after that visually, we’ll lock in. We have to get the song first. It’s the same song, same lyrics, but it’s going to be with my flair.

Gaudelli: Carrie’s right about the visuals. We have some ideas right now. Obviously it’s Carrie, it’s players, it’ll probably include some live audience component, and it’ll be a lot of visual effects and hopefully a rocking number to kick off the game.

Underwood on husband and NHL Player Mike Fisher’s reactions: He’s excited. He’s a sports dude. Yes, he plays hockey but he definitely loves football, as do I. He’s really excited. He’s got a lot of friends that play for different teams and I think me being a part of that with them and with a sport that he loves, I think it’ll just make it all the more better for him.

Gaudelli on Faith Hill: I talked to Faith’s representatives this morning to let her know so I’m sure she knows already.

Underwood on Faith Hill: I run into her all the time. The CMA Music Festival is coming up pretty soon so I’m sure I’ll get some pointers from her. She knows all the ins and outs so she can help a girl out.

Gaudelli on the importance of music in the SNF broadcast: It’s a football game but there’s a large entertainment component. Music definitely fits that. I think it’s a huge part. We have the “Waiting All Day” theme and then we have the John Williams theme that gets played, and we like to use a lot of commercial cuts. We’ve played a lot of Carrie’s songs throughout the years (n and out of commercial breaks) because we want to be relevant to pop culture. Music can be somewhat polarizing because not everybody likes the same kind of music, but throughout the course of three hours we try to give everybody a little bit of something that they do like.

Underwood on her relationship with NBC: We obviously met with lots of people in NBC about the Sound of Music and everybody within that family is so wonderful to be around and so wonderful to work with. I don’t think one had to do with the other, but it just made it, working together again, all that much better because we already knew a few people at the network so it makes me even more part of the family.