Wednesday, August 15th, 2012


Former Steeler Hines Ward Makes NBC Debut

NEW YORK – August 16, 2012 – Sunday Night Football, television’s No. 1 primetime program, kicks off its 2012 preseason schedule this Sunday at 8 p.m. ET as Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers host No. 1 draft choice Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.

Dan Hicks, substituting for Al Michaels who has the week off following his daytime hosting duties at the 2012 London Olympics, and Cris Collinsworth will have the call from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, with Michele Tafoya handling the sideline reporting duties. Recently retired Steeler, Hines Ward, will make his NBC debut as an analyst in the second half.

NBC’s second preseason game features the New York Jets, with Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow, hosting the Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton on Sunday, Aug. 26 also at 8 p.m. ET.

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NBC will broadcast 19 primetime NFL games during the 2012 season, highlighted by: the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants hosting their division rivals the Dallas Cowboys on NFL Kickoff 2012; storied rivalries such as Steelers-Ravens, Eagles-Cowboys, and Giants-Eagles; two games featuring Peyton Manning with his new team the Denver Broncos – hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers on the first Sunday Night Football game of the season, and the New Orleans Saints in Week 8; and NBC’s first Thanksgiving night game, featuring New England Patriots at the New York Jets.

Highlights of the 2012 Sunday Night Football schedule:

  • 19 primetime games, including the opening Wednesday night game and a new Thanksgiving night game;
  • Every 2011 playoff team makes an appearance on Sunday Night Football; 16 of NBC’s 18 scheduled games involve at least one playoff team from last season; 10 of 18 include two playoff teams (Week 17 game TBD);
  • Three games each for Giants, Cowboys, Patriots, Steelers and Packers.
  • The defending Super Bowl Champion Giants host their division rivals the Cowboys in the Wednesday night NFL Kickoff 2012 on September 5;
  • The Jets host the Patriots on NBC’s first-ever Thanksgiving night game. NBC will broadcast a Thanksgiving night game each season through 2022 as part of the new NFL agreement;
  • Peyton Manning, in his first game as a member of the Denver Broncos, as they host Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the opening Sunday Night Football game of the season on September 9;
  • Three matchups among bitter NFC East rivals: Cowboys-Giants, Giants-Eagles, and Eagles-Cowboys;
  • Three playoff rematches, including a rematch of the AFC Championship Game when the Ravens host the Patriots in Week 3;
  • The first Sunday Night Football regular-season trip to Houston, as the Texans host the Packers in Week 6, and Cincinnati as the Bengals host the Steelers in Week 7;

NBC TO BROADCAST 19 NFL GAMES IN 2012: As part of the new agreement NBC signed with the NFL in December,2011,NBC will now broadcast 19 regular-season games, including 17 regular season Sunday Night Football games, NFL Kickoff 2012, and the new Thanksgiving night game. NBC’s original Sunday Night Football agreement, which began in 2006, included 17 regular-season games. It was increased to 18 games in 2010.

SNF NO. 1 PRIMETIME PROGRAM ON TELEVISION: For the primetime television season (September 19-April 16), *Sunday Night Football ranks as the most-watched (persons 2+) and highest-rated show, and the No. 1 program across the key demographics of Adults 18-49, 18-34, 25-54, as well as Men 18-49, 18-34 and 25-54, based on Nielsen live + same day data. Additionally, SNF is the No. 3 show among Women 18-34, and the No. 4 show among Women 18-49.

*NOTE: The primetime television season began on Monday, Sept. 19 2011, and does not include the first three NBC primetime games of the 2011 season (Thursday night NFL Kickoff Opener and first two SNF games).

The critically acclaimed Football Night in America, which precedes Sunday Night Football, each week at 7 p.m. ET, was seen by an average of 8.9 million in 2011, its best season ever.

Wed. Sept. 5 NFL Kickoff Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants
Sun. Sept. 9 Week 1 Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos
Sun. Sept. 16 Week 2 Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers
Sun. Sept. 23 Week 3 New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens
Sun. Sept. 30 Week 4 New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
Sun. Oct. 7 Week 5 San Diego Chargers at New Orleans Saints
Sun. Oct. 14 Week 6 Green Bay Packers at Houston Texans
Sun. Oct. 21 Week 7 Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
Sun. Oct. 28 Week 8 New Orleans Saints at Denver Broncos
Sun. Nov. 4 Week 9 Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons
Sun. Nov. 11 Week 10 Houston Texans at Chicago Bears
*Sun. Nov. 18 Week 11 Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
**Thurs. Nov. 22 Week 12 New England Patriots at New York Jets
*Sun. Nov. 25 Week 12 Green Bay Packers at New York Giants
*Sun. Dec. 2 Week 13 Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
*Sun. Dec. 9 Week 14 Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
*Sun. Dec. 16 Week 15 San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots
*Sun. Dec. 23 Week 16 San Diego Chargers at New York Jets
*Sun. Dec. 30 Week 17 TBA

*Flex Week

** Thanksgiving Night Game

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