ESPN SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL TEAM TO CALL NEW ORLEANS SAINTS-NEW YORK GIANTS GAME ON ABC AND ESPN ON MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19
Mike Tirico and Sterling Sharpe to Call Chiefs-Raiders Game on ESPN on Sept. 18
ESPN's Sunday Night Football team of Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann, Paul Maguire and Suzy Kolber will call the ABC and ESPN telecast of the New Orleans Saints-New York Giants game on Monday, September 19, which the National Football League moved to Giants Stadium in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. With ESPN's SNF team switching nights, play-by-play commentator Mike Tirico and NFL Network analyst Sterling Sharpe will call ESPN's scheduled Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders Sunday primetime game on Sept. 18 at 8:30 p.m.
ABC's Monday Night Football broadcast team of Al Michaels, John Madden and Michele Tafoya will cover the scheduled MNF game between the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium.
The Monday Night Football doubleheader telecast will include an unprecedented fund-raising telethon from ABC's Times Square studio in New York City, culminating the NFL's "Hurricane Relief Weekend." The telethon will raise money for the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund (www.bushclintonkatrinafund.com), which former Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton are leading. The fund serves as an umbrella organization for three special funds established by the governors of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi to assist in the long-term recovery plan for those states.
Kick-off for the Saints-Giants game is set for 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC as part of a rare NFL primetime doubleheader. The New Orleans and New York television markets will see the game in its entirety on ABC, and the start of Redskins-Cowboys on ESPN. The rest of the country will see the Redskins-Cowboys game at 9 p.m. on ABC, while also having the option to see the conclusion of the Saints-Giants telecast on ESPN.
ESPN will have a strong presence at both Monday night games with studio programming originating from both stadiums. Dan Patrick will host SportsCenter and offer special live reports from Giants Stadium between 6-6:30 p.m., while Monday Night Countdown will continue its season-opening road shows live from Texas Stadium between 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Countdown will include live reports from NFL analyst Ron Jaworski and reporter Sal Paolantonio from the Saints-Giants game, as well as Ed Werder from the Redskins-Cowboys game before the planned 7:30 p.m. doubleheader kickoff.
The Chiefs-Raiders game is the first of three ESPN game telecasts that Tirico and Sharpe will call together during the 2005 NFL season. The duo is already scheduled to work ESPN's Saturday night games during the NFL doubleheader weekends in December - Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills, Dec. 17 at 8:30 p.m., and New York Giants at Oakland Raiders, Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. Tirico, one of sports television's most versatile on-air personalities, also handled the play-by-play for the American Bowl preseason telecast in Tokyo in August. Sharpe was a member of ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown teams from 1995-2003.
ABC affiliates in the following local markets will be airing the Saints-Giants through its conclusion (with the Redskins-Cowboys game airing on ESPN):
New York extended area: Albany, NY; Bangor, ME; Binghamton, NY; Elmira, NY; Hartford-New Haven, CT; New York, NY; Portland, ME; Rochester, NY; Syracuse, NY; Utica, NY; Watertown, NY.
New Orleans extended area: Alexandria, MS; Baton Rouge, LA; Biloxi, MS; Columbus-Tupelo, MS; Greenwood, MS; Jackson, MS; Lafayette, LA; Meridian, MS; Monroe, LA; New Orleans, LA; Pensacola, FL; Shreveport, LA.