BARBER MAKES DEBUT AS 'NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL' TRAVELS TO BALTIMORE FOR PRESEASON CLASH BETWEEN GIANTS AND RAVENS
NBC's Ebersol on Barber: "He is that rare athlete who is not afraid to say what he thinks."
NEW YORK � Aug. 15, 2007 � Tiki Barber will make his NBC Sports debut during halftime of the "NBC Sunday Night Football" broadcast of the New York Giants at Baltimore Ravens preseason game, Sunday at 8 p.m. ET from M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md. Al Michaels (play-by-play), John Madden (analyst) and Andrea Kremer (sideline reporter) will call the action, joined at halftime by Bob Costas, Cris Collinsworth, and Barber who starred for the Giants for 10 seasons and represented the team in three Pro Bowls. Barber is joining NBC's "Football Night in America" studio show as an analyst and is also a commentator for NBC's "Today." NBC will broadcast its final preseason game next Sunday night between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"He is that rare athlete who at the top of his game was still straightforward in his opinions on what went on in his field," said NBC Sports & Olympics Chairman Dick Ebersol about Barber. "In other words, he is that rare athlete who is not afraid to say what he thinks."
Both the Giants and Ravens earned playoff berths last season. The Giants playoff spot was not assured until the last game of the regular season, in which Barber rushed for 234 yards in a victory over the Washington Redskins, setting a franchise record.
The Ravens won the AFC North with a 13-3 record before losing in the playoffs to the eventual Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts.
The Giants and Ravens will both be featured on "NBC Sunday Night Football." New York visits Dallas to face their archrival the Cowboys, the first Sunday night of the season, Sept. 9; will host division foe the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 30; and host the Washington Redskins on Sunday night Dec. 16 (subject to flex). The Ravens will seek to exact revenge against the Colts on Sunday night, Dec. 9 (subject to flex). NBC's regular season schedule begins on Thursday night, Sept. 6, with "NFL Opening Kickoff 2007" as the Colts host the New Orleans Saints.
BEST VIEWERSHIP IN SIX YEARS:
"NBC Sunday Night Football" wrapped up its inaugural season as the No. 6 television show of the season, averaging 17.5 million viewers, the best viewership number for the network primetime NFL package in six years (18.5 million on ABC in 2000) and 1.2 million viewers better than ABC Monday Night Football in 2005.
NBC's 2007 NFL Schedule:
("NBC Sunday Night Football" kickoff, 8:15 p.m. ET preceded by "Football Night in America, 7 p.m. ET)
Thursday, Sept 6 � New Orleans at Indianapolis
Sunday, Sept. 9 � New York Giants at Dallas
Sunday, Sept. 16 � San Diego at New England
Sunday, Sept. 23 � Dallas at Chicago
Sunday, Sept. 30 � Philadelphia at New York Giants
Sunday, Oct. 7 � Chicago at Green Bay
Sunday, Oct. 14 � New Orleans at Seattle
Sunday, Oct. 21 � Pittsburgh at Denver
Sunday, Oct. 28 � No game scheduled due to World Series Game 5 (FNIA airs 7-8 p.m.)
Sunday, Nov. 4 � Dallas at Philadelphia
Sunday, Nov. 11 � Indianapolis at San Diego
Sunday, Nov. 18 � Chicago at Seattle (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Nov. 25 � Philadelphia at New England (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Dec. 2 � Cincinnati at Pittsburgh (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Dec. 9 � Indianapolis at Baltimore (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Dec. 16 � Washington at NY Giants (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Dec. 23 � Tampa Bay at San Francisco (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Dec. 30 � Kansas City at New York Jets (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
The 2007 NFL schedule will utilize flexible scheduling in Weeks 11-17. In those weeks, the schedule will list the games tentatively scheduled for Sunday night on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game will be moved to an afternoon start time. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday or Monday nights. A flexible scheduling move will be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the move may be announced six days before the game. Flexible scheduling will ensure quality matchups on Sunday night in those weeks and give surprise teams a chance to play their way onto primetime.
As an indication of the success of the inaugural year of flex scheduling, three of the final four games on NBC achieved ratings more than 20 percent higher than the comparable games in 2005.
"FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA" & "NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL"
"NBC Sunday Night Football," the premier primetime game of the week, is preceded by the "Football Night in America" studio show, which kicks off NBC's regular season coverage each Sunday at 7 p.m. The unprecedented six-year NFL deal includes innovative flexible scheduling and continues through the 2011 season with Super Bowls in 2009 and 2012. NBC has assembled the most honored broadcast team ever: Joining Al Michaels, the commentator called "TV's best play-by-play announcer" by the Associated Press, and John Madden, the most honored NFL broadcaster of all time with 15 Emmy Awards, are Bob Costas, the most honored studio host of all time with 19 Emmy Awards, who hosts NBC's "Football Night in America" studio show alongside co-host Cris Collinsworth, the most honored studio analyst in history with eight Emmy Awards; co-host Keith Olbermann, named one of the Top Ten Most Powerful People in TV News for 2007 by Television Week; and analysts Tiki Barber, a three-time NFL Pro Bowler for the New York Giants, and Jerome Bettis, one of the most popular players in recent NFL history. "NBC Sunday Night Football" coverage also includes sideline and feature reporter Andrea Kremer, whom the Los Angeles Times has called "the best TV interviewer in the business of covering the NFL." Peter King, who covers the NFL for Sports Illustrated and is considered one of the country's foremost NFL reporters, serves as a reporter for the "Football Night in America" studio show.