Sunday Night's All Right for Football


NBC on Wednesday announced its Sunday-night NFL studio show will be called Football Night in America and will be produced by NBC Sports executive producer and Olympics Executive VP David Neal and NBC Sports coordinating producer Sam Flood.

What is still apparently up in the air, however, is the role of analyst Cris Collinsworth.

While he was originally hired to work alongside host Bob Costas on NBC’s studio show, the network is not necessarily set on using Collinsworth in that capacity, and it could shift him to the broadcast team in some role alongside John Madden. NBC’s press release talked of Neal, Flood and Costas as part of the studio show team, but made no mention of Collinsworth. NBC has yet to name a play-by-play person for its NFL coverage.

Perhaps influenced by its new relationship with the NHL, the title of the show is similar to that of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s venerable Hockey Night in Canada. The Football Night in America moniker will encompass both the 7 p.m. ET studio show and NBC’s 8 p.m. ET NFL contest when NBC takes over Sunday nights next season.

"Football Night in America will be network television's first prime time football studio show,” says Dick Ebersol, chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics, in a press release. “It will be the destination for viewers to gather for their first complete look at all the day's games.”

ESPN’s NFL Primetime, which currently leads in to the network’s Sunday night NFL game with extended highlights of the day’s games, is thought to be moving to Mondays in 2006, when the network takes over Monday Night Football from corporate cousin ABC.

Flood, who has led NBC’s NASCAR production, will move to the NFL contests as NBC’s NASCAR deal runs out in 2006.