ESPN Gets NFL Wildcard Game, Will Simulcast On ABC For The First Time Ever

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The draft is done. Rookie minicamps are under way. And teams are counting down the days to the start of their annual summer camps. That can only mean one thing: Football season is almost here again. And with kickoff of the 2015 – 2016 NFL season inching closer each day, ESPN has announced another addition to its broadcast coverage schedule.

ESPN announced today that it will once again air at least one of the league’s Wildcard Playoff games this season. The game, which will be played on the weekend of January 9th – 10th, 2016, will be simulcast on ABC for the first time ever along with the network’s weekly pre-game show Monday Night Countdown. The upcoming broadcast will mark only the second time that the worldwide leader in sports has aired an NFL playoff game in its thirty-six year history. The Carolina Panthers defeated the Arizona Cardinals 27 – 16 last season in the network’s first ever playoff broadcast. The game averaged a 12.5 household US rating and 21,678,000 viewers (P2+) according to Nielsen research. That made the game the ninth most-viewed broadcast in cable history.

ESPN President John Skipper noted its success in making the announcement about the upcoming game. “Our first Wild Card playoff game was one of ESPN’s highest-rated and most-watched events ever,” he said. He also noted his expectations for a similar result for the game’s first time ever simulcast on ABC stating, “By leveraging the broadcast platform we have on ABC, the upcoming Wild Card will rank among the most-watched programs of the year and we will reach even more fans during the NFL postseason.”

ESPN’s MNF broadcast team of Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, and Lisa Salters will have full coverage of the game. They will also be live at the league’s annual Pro Bowl game at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Pro Bowl is currently scheduled to be played January 24th, 2016.

All of the latest news on ESPN’s NFL coverage is available online now at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/nfl

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NFLonESPN

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Announces 2015 Monday Night Football Broadcast Schedule

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The NFL announced its full season schedule last night. And in accordance ESPN has announced its Monday Night Football broadcast schedule, too.

ESPN kicks off its 46th season of Monday Night Football with an NFC double-header on Monday, September 14th. The Atlanta Falcons open the night as they host the Philadelphia Eagles and their latest addition, DeMarco Murray. The broadcast is scheduled for a 7pm ET start time. The Vikings head into San Francisco to face the 49ers in the second game of the night in an NFC West/NFC North matchup. Broadcast for that game is set for 10:15pm ET/7:15pm PT. There is a strong likelihood that embattled player Adrian Peterson will be back on the field with the Vikings for the game, too, making this game even more intriguing for fans. Mike Tirico will have the call for the early game. He will be joined by analyst Jon Gruden–who just re-upped with ESPN last season–in the booth. Lisa Salters will be on the sidelines for additional commentary and interviews. The broadcast team for the late game will be announced at a later date.

The complete ESPN Monday Night Football schedule, including pre-season, is listed below.

ESPN’s 2015 Monday Night Football Schedule

Preseason

Date Time (ET) Teams

Aug. 20 8 p.m. Buffalo Bills vs. Cleveland Browns

Aug. 24 8 p.m. Cincinnati Bengals vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Regular Season

Sept. 14 7 p.m. Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atlanta Falcons

10:15 p.m. Minnesota Vikings vs. San Francisco 49ers

Sept. 21 8:15 p.m. New York Jets vs. Indianapolis Colts

Sept. 28 8:15 p.m. Kansas City Chiefs vs. Green Bay Packers

Oct. 5 8:15 p.m. Detroit Lions vs. Seattle Seahawks

Oct. 12 8:15 p.m. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. San Diego Chargers

Oct. 19 8:15 p.m. New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Oct. 26 8:15 p.m. Baltimore Ravens vs. Arizona Cardinals

Nov. 2 8:15 p.m. Indianapolis Colts vs. Carolina Panthers

Nov. 9 8:15 p.m. Chicago Bears vs. San Diego Chargers

Nov. 16 8:15 p.m. Houston Texans vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Nov. 23 8:15 p.m. Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots

Nov. 30 8:15 p.m. Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns

Dec. 7 8:15 p.m. Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins

Dec. 14 8:15 p.m. New York Giants vs. Miami Dolphins

Dec. 21 8:15 p.m. Detroit Lions vs. New Orleans Saints

Dec. 28 8:15 p.m. Cincinnati Bengals vs. Denver Broncos

Every MNF game broadcast on ESPN will also be available on a variety of online platforms including: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Fire Stick TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360, and Xbox One via WatchESPN. Audiences can also access additional MNF “game around the game” content throughout day across a variety of ESPN platforms including ESPN’s MNF pre-game show Monday Night Countdown and post-game coverage on SportsCenter. ESPN will also carry its MNF broadcasts on ESPN Deportes for its Spanish-speaking audiences. All of the latest information on ESPN’s MNF schedule is available online now along with all of the latest NFL news at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/nfl/mnf

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MNF

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Announces MNF Pre-Season Broadcast Schedule

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Spring is one of the greatest times of the year for sports fans. The NHL and NBA are both headed into their respective playoffs. MLB is just getting started. The auto racing world is in high gear. And in the world of football, many universities are planning their annual spring football scrimmages ahead of the annual NFL draft. It also means one other thing for sports fans. It means the annual announcement by ESPN of the network’s pre-season football coverage. And make that announcement is exactly what the worldwide leader in sports did Thursday.

ESPN announced Thursday that it has two games on tap for its 2015 Monday Night Football schedule. The first of those games is a matchup of the Browns and Bills on Thursday, August 20th in Cleveland. It will be the first chance for new Bills coach and former Jets coach Rex Ryan to put his team, which now features All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy, on display. On the other side of the ball, it is believed that Johnny Manziel will be fighting for his career as the Browns host the Bills in the AFC matchup.

The second matchup on ESPN’s Monday Night Football pre-season schedule will see Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday, August 24th. The Bucs struggled mightily in the 2014- 2015 season and will have the #1 pick in this year’s NFL Draft as a result of those struggles.

The MNF broadcast team of Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden will have the call for both games. They will be joined once again by sideline reporter Lisa Salters. Both games are schedule for an 8pm ET start time and will be preceded by an hour-long edition of ESPN’s weekly NFL pre-game show Monday Night Countdown. ESPN’s Spanish-speaking audiences will be able to catch both games on television on ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s 24-hour Spanish-language domestic sports network. ESPN Deportes will also have coverage of every regular season MNF broadcast.

Along with coverage on television via ESPN and ESPN Deportes, every MNF broadcast can also be seen online through a number of outlets including: Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One via WatchESPN. WatchESPN is available in more than 93 million households across the country to fans who get ESPN’s networks as part of their video subscription.

More information on ESPN’s upcoming MNF broadcast schedule is available online along with all of the latest NFL headlines at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/nfl.mnf

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MNF

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Bengals Host Broncos Monday Night On ESPN In Pivotal Playoff Game

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Next Monday night, Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals will play what is one of the most important games of the season for the team when it plays host to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.

Cincinnati and Denver will face off at Paul brown Stadium Monday night on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. The Broncos (11 – 3) have already clinched the AFC West title. So for Denver, Monday night’s game will be a tune-up for the playoffs. For Cincinnati though, Monday night’s game means much more. Cincinnati currently sits at 9 – 4 – 1 on the season coming into Monday night’s game. And even if the Bengals win, it doesn’t guarantee a playoff spot for the team or even the division title. A handful of scenarios have to play out for Cincinnati to get the AFC North division title. And almost all of them require Cincinnati to win out at least Monday night.

The first way that Cincinnati can snag the AFC North title is to win out both Monday night and against the Steelers in Week 17. The second way that the Bengals can clinch the division title is to win at least one game between this week and next week and losses by both the Steelers and Ravens. In order to clinch a playoff spot, one of two scenarios has to happen. The first scenario is a win at least this week or next week against Pittsburgh. The other scenario would allow Cincinnati to lose both this week and next ONLY IF Kansas City, San Diego and Buffalo all lose at least once between this week and next. Making Monday night’s game all the more important for Cincinnati is the teams prime time record. Cincy is 18 – 41 all time in prime-time and 10 – 20 on Monday Night.  Taking an even deeper look at the teams’ numbers, Denver is only 4 – 3 on the road versus going undefeated at home. The team has gone 4 – 1 – 0 in its last five game. Cincy has only one more win on the road than at home, going 5 – 2 – 0 on the road and 4 – 2 – 1 at home. It is also 4 – 1 – 0 in its last five games. So it goes without saying that Monday night’s game will be one of the most important of the season for Cincinnati.

Adding to the interest of Monday’s games is talk of long term impacts of hits on Peyton this season and what it might mean in regards to his off season surgery. Manning will sit down with ESPN Monday Night Football play-by-play man Mike Tirico to discuss that and more as part of the night’s pre-game broadcast.  Sideline reporter Lisa Salters will have a discussion with Bengals QB Andy Dalton on the other side of the ball. She and Dalton will discuss what a win tonight would mean both for him and his teammates and getting over the playoff hurdles of the past three seasons among other topics. Both interviews are part of Monday’s pre-game show Monday Night Countdown. Suzy Kolber will anchor Monday night’s broadcast. She will be joined by NFL analysts Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis, and Steve Young live on-site. Chris Berman will anchor live from ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Connecticut. He will be joined by NFL analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, and Keyshawn Johnson and ESPN NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. Monday Night Countdown kicks off at 6pm ET.

Kickoff for Monday night’s game is scheduled for 8:15pm ET. Mike Tirico will have the call from the booth. He will be joined by Jon Gruden, who just last week agreed to a contract extension with ESPN. The extension will keep Gruden in the booth alongside Mike Tirico through 2021, when ESPN’s next contract with the NFL comes up. Lisa Salters will be on the sidelines for Monday night’s game with all of the latest in-game news and reports. Monday Night Football is available for ESPN’s Spanish-speaking fans on ESPN Deportes and online via WatchESPN for those with video subscriptions from affiliated providers. More information on Mondays’ game and on all things NFL is available online at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/nfl/mnf
http://espn.go.com/nfl

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MNF
http://www.facebook.com/NFLonESPN

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Saints, Bears Face Off Tonight In Important NFC Match To Close Out Week Fifteen

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Week fifteen of the NFL’s 2014-2015 season closes tonight with what will be one of the season’s most important match ups.

Tonight on ESPN, The New Orleans Saints (5 – 8 – 0) take on the Chicago Bears (5 – 8 – 0) in an NFC conference face-off. A win tonight for the Saints would have major playoff implications. That’s because after Sunday’s win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Panthers are now also at 5 – 8 – 1. A Saints win would push New Orleans to 6 – 8 – 0 so far on the season. A win would be especially big for the Saints as right now the NFC South in whole is the league’s worst division. For Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears, a win tonight would tie Chicago with Minnesota in the NFC North at 6 – 8 – 0.  It’s not much, considering that Chicago has essentially been marked out of the playoff picture.  But a win would mean not being the worst team in its division. The Saints are only 1- 4 in their last five games while Chicago has struggled just as much going 2 – 3 in its last five games. However Chicago is in the midst of a two-game skid. So the Bears will be looking to snap that streak. And being at home, Chicago will be especially hungry for a win tonight.

Coverage of tonight’s game on ESPN kicks off at 6pm ET on Monday Night Countdown. Host Suzy Kolber will be joined by NFL analysts Trent Dilfer, Mike Ditka, Ray Lewis, and Steve Young. Chris Berman will be live in studio from ESPN’s headquarters for the broadcast. He will be joined by analysts Cris Carter, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson alongside ESPN NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. Mike Tirico will have the call for tonight’s game. He will be joined in the booth by analyst Jon Gruden. Lisa Salters will have all of the latest reports throughout the game from the sidelines.

Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15pm ET. ESPN’s Spanish-speaking viewers can catch the game on television via ESPN Deportes. And fans on the go can watch the game online via WatchESPN as long as they have subscriptions from affiliated providers. More information on tonight’s game and all things NFL is available online at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/nfl/mnf
http://espn.go.com/nfl

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MNF

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Jets, Bears Close Out Week 3 On ESPN’s Monday Night Football

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Week 3 of the 2014 NFL season wraps tonight as Geno Smith and the New York Jets host Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears.

The Jets and Bears will face off at MetLife Stadium tonight on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. Both teams have plenty to play for tonight as they both currently sit at 1 – 1 so far on the season. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15pm ET. Mike Tirico will have the call from the booth tonight. Analyst Jon Gruden and sideline reporter Lisa Salters will also be on hand for additional commentary. ESPN and ESPN Deportes will work together throughout the evening’s broadcast to recognize the NFL’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, which continues through October 15th.

Monday night’s matchup between the Bears and Jets will be preceded by ESPN’s weekly pre-game broadcast of Monday Night Countdown live at 6pm ET. Monday’s broadcast will come live from MetLife Stadium. Host Suzy Kolber will be joined by analysts Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis, Steve Young for a recap of the week’s games and a look ahead at the week’s closer between New York and Chicago. Kolber and company will be joined from ESPN’s headquarters by studio host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, and Keyshawn Johnson alongside ESPN NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter.

Those that can’t be close to a TV tonight can catch tonight’s game online via WatchESPN. The game will also be available to Spanish-speaking audiences on TV on ESPN Deportes. More information on tonight’s matchup is available online at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/nfl/mnf
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MNF

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Releases Full Season Monday Night Football Schedule

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has released its broadcast schedule for the 2014 NFL season.

ESPN opened the 2013 season with a double header and will do so again for the 2014 season. ESPN will open its Monday Night Football regular season broadcast schedule with a double header on September 8th. The first game on the night will see the New York Giants on the road against the Detroit Lions. The game will be the first MNF game to be broadcast from Detroit since September 1971. Mike Tirico will anchor the broadcast and will have play-by-play duties. He will be joined by analyst Jon Gruden in the booth and Lisa Salters on the sidelines. The trio will also handle all MNF games, which will begin at 8:15pm ET. Kickoff for all of ESPN’s MNF games is scheduled for 8:30pm ET.

The second game on ESPN’s double header slate for Monday, September 8th will see the Arizona Cardinals hosting the San Diego Chargers at 10:15pm ET. It will come live from the University of Phoenix Stadium, which will also play host to the 2015 Pro Bowl and Super Bowl XLIX. The 2015 Pro Bowl will be broadcast on ESPN.

Now in its 45th season, Monday Night Football’s 2014 season will feature all twelve teams from the 2013 NFL Playoffs. This includes the 2013 NFL Champion Seattle Seahawks and AFC Champion Denver Broncos. The Seahawks will take on the Washington Redskins on ESPN’s MNF broadcast October 6th while the Broncos will face off against the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati on December 22nd.

Eight NFL organizations will each have two games broadcast nationally on ESPN’s MNF. Those teams are the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, New York Jets, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Washington Redskins. Speaking of the Redskins, Washington will renew its long held rivalry with the Dallas Cowboys once again in the 2014 NFL regular season. Washington and Dallas will meet on October 27th at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The meeting will be the 16th between the two teams; second only to the rivalry between the Raiders and Broncos, who have met seventeen times.

All of ESPN’s MNF games can be seen both on television on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, and online via WatchESPN. Additional MNF “game around the game” content will be available daily across ESPN’s various platforms including Monday Night Countdown and SportsCenter before and after each game. ESPN’s complete Monday Night Football broadcast schedule is listed below.

ESPN’s 2014 Monday Night Football Schedule

Preseason
Date Time (ET) Teams
Aug. 14 8 p.m. Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Chicago Bears
Aug. 18 8 p.m. Cleveland Browns vs. Washington Redskins
Regular Season
Sept. 8 7 p.m. New York Giants vs. Detroit Lions
10:15 p.m. San Diego Chargers vs. Arizona Cardinals
Sept. 15 8:15 p.m. Philadelphia Eagles vs. Indianapolis Colts
Sept. 22 8:15 p.m. Chicago Bears vs. New York Jets
Sept. 29 8:15 p.m. New England Patriots vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Oct. 6 8:15 p.m. Seattle Seahawks vs. Washington Redskins
Oct. 13 8:15 p.m. San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams
Oct. 20 8:15 p.m. Houston Texans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Oct. 27 8:15 p.m. Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys
Nov. 3 8:15 p.m. Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Giants
Nov. 10 8:15 p.m. Carolina Panthers vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Nov. 17 8:15 p.m. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tennessee Titans
Nov. 24 8:15 p.m. Baltimore Ravens vs. New Orleans Saints
Dec. 1 8:15 p.m. Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets
Dec. 8 8:15 p.m. Atlanta Falcons vs. Green Bay Packers
Dec. 15 8:15 p.m. New Orleans Saints vs. Chicago Bears
Dec. 22 8:15 p.m. Denver Broncos vs. Cincinnati Bengals
TBD TBD NFL Wild Card Game
Jan. 25, 2015 8 p.m. NFL Pro Bowl (Glendale, Arizona)

 

 

More information on the ESPN family of networks’ coverage of the 2014 NFL season is available online at http://www.facebook.com/NFLonESPN. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.