ESPN's 2007 Monday Night Football Schedule
17-Game Schedule Features 10 Playoff Teams from 2006; Season-Opening Doubleheader on Sept. 10; Steelers' 75th Anniversary Celebration on Nov. 5
The 38th season of Monday Night Football will open on ESPN with a nationally televised doubleheader on Monday, Sept. 10 � Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (7 p.m. ET) and Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (10:15 p.m.) � and will continue with a total of 17 primetime games. Following a successful inaugural season that delivered the 17 biggest household audiences for cable television in 2006 and made MNF the most-watched series in cable history, the ESPN schedule will feature 10 playoff teams from last season, including both the defending Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts and NFC champion Chicago Bears.
ESPN's MNF commentator team will include Mike Tirico (play-by-play), analysts Ron Jaworski and Tony Kornheiser, and sideline reporters Suzy Kolber and Michele Tafoya. ESPN's MNF presentation, which enjoyed a 40 percent increase in ratings and viewership over the previous season of ESPN's Sunday Night Football, will feature reports on television, radio and the Internet throughout the day, as well as a 90-minute Monday Night Countdown pre-game show leading into the MNF game telecast at 8:30 p.m.
"ESPN's Monday Night Football became the most-watched series in cable television history and was an overwhelming success last season, a clear indication that MNF remains special," said John Skipper, executive vice president, content, ESPN. "We will continue to enhance its leadership position in the minds of fans, players and coaches through our innovative multiplatform approach."
ESPN MNF Schedule Highlights:
Appearances by both Super Bowl teams � Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (Oct. 22) and Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings (Dec. 17); Three MNF appearances each by two of the AFC's top teams, Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens; Two MNF appearances each from seven teams expected to contend for the playoffs � Bengals, Falcons, 49ers, Patriots, Saints, Steelers and Titans � highlighted by Patriots-Ravens (Dec. 3), a match-up of defending AFC division champions and Super Bowl contenders.
Celebration games: Nov. 5 � Steelers will celebrate 75th anniversary of franchise; Sept. 24 � one-year anniversary of Louisiana Superdome re-opening, featuring two of the most exciting young players in the NFL in Saints running back Reggie Bush and Titans quarterback Vince Young.
Following the season-opening MNF doubleheader, the ESPN schedule will feature a match-up of division rivals as running back Clinton Portis and the Washington Redskins face quarterback Donovan McNabb and the NFC East champion Philadelphia Eagles (Sept. 17) in the expected return of star players to both teams. On Sept. 24, the defending NFC South champion New Orleans Saints host Vince Young and the upstart Tennessee Titans in the one-year anniversary of the Saints' return to the Louisiana Superdome after Hurricane Katrina.
The month of October will begin with an AFC showdown when Tom Brady and the AFC East champion New England Patriots face Carson Palmer and the Cincinnati Bengals (Oct. 1). A week later, the Dallas Cowboys travel north to play the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 8 � the first MNF game in Buffalo since 1994 � as new Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips faces the team he once coached. The Manning brothers play under the Monday Night lights the next two weeks as Eli and the New York Giants meet Michael Vick and the Atlanta Falcons (Oct. 15), followed by Peyton and the Super Bowl champion Colts against the Jacksonville Jaguars (Oct. 22) in a match-up of AFC South division rivals. The month concludes with "Mr. Monday Night," Brett Favre, leading the Green Bay Packers against emerging quarterback Jay Cutler and the Denver Broncos (Oct. 29).
The November slate will open with Steve McNair and the Baltimore Ravens against Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers (Nov. 5) on what promises to be a festive night with the Steelers celebrating the 75th anniversary of their franchise. MNF will travel west the next two weeks � San Francisco 49ers-Seattle Seahawks (Nov. 12) and Titans-Broncos (Nov. 19) � before returning to Pittsburgh on Nov. 26 when linebacker Joey Porter leads the Miami Dolphins against his former Steelers teammates after signing with the Dolphins this off season.
The MNF schedule in December will kick off with a key AFC contest that is sure to have playoff implications � Patriots-Ravens (Dec. 3). The final three games feature division rivalry match-ups. Drew Brees and the high-powered Saints play the Falcons on Dec. 10 in the NFC South. The following week, Brian Urlacher and the defending NFC champion Chicago Bears play the Minnesota Vikings (Dec. 17) in a NFC North tilt. The MNF regular-season finale will provide football fans with a special holiday treat as the Broncos meet 2006 NFL MVP LaDainian Tomlinson and the defending AFC West champion San Diego Chargers on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, at 8 p.m.
ESPN'S MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
ESPN's inaugural season of Monday Night Football was the most-watched series in cable television history and the only NFL series nominated for a 2007 Sports Emmy in the Outstanding Live Sports Series category. The 17 games were the biggest 17 household audiences for cable television in 2006 and nine of the top 10 on the list of cable's biggest household audiences ever (excludes breaking news), including the N.Y. Giants-Dallas Cowboys game (10/23/06) which ranked No. 1 with 11,807,000 homes based on a 12.8 rating. For the season, MNF averaged a 9.9 rating and 9,109,000 homes (12,325,000 P2+), increases of 39%, 43% and 41%, respectively, compared to 2005 ESPN Sunday Night Football; the accompanying "Monday Night Surround" content on ESPN.com sparked an increase of Monday traffic to the site of 52%.
SportsCenter Special: 2007 NFL Schedule Release � Today at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN
ESPN's SportsCenter Special: 2007 NFL Schedule Release hosted by NFL Live's Trey Wingo will be aired live today from 1-3 p.m. ET. The program will analyze the 2007 NFL schedule with interviews from around the league. Scheduled guests will include: ESPN MNF analyst Ron Jaworski; studio analysts Mark Schlereth and Darren Woodson; senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen; player Joey Porter (Miami Dolphins); and Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy (Indianapolis Colts). The program will be aired in a compressed format similar to ESPN's NFL Draft presentation with scrolling team-by-team updates. The show will examine individual team schedules, key match-ups, Monday Night Football games, national TV games and other highlights. Portions of the program will re-aired on ESPN between 3:30-4:30 p.m.
For information on ESPN's Monday Night Football, visit: www.espnmediazone.com
ESPN'S MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL 2007 NFL SCHEDULE
Date Time (ET) Teams
Aug. 13 8 p.m. Denver Broncos at San Francisco 49ers
Aug. 16 8 p.m. Miami Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs
Aug. 20 8 p.m. Chicago Bears at Indianapolis Colts
Aug. 27 8 p.m. Cincinnati Bengals at Atlanta Falcons
Date Time (ET) Teams
Sept. 10 7 p.m. Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals
10:15 p.m. Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers
Sept. 17 8:30 p.m. Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles
Sept. 24 8:30 p.m. Tennessee Titans at New Orleans Saints
Oct. 1 8:30 p.m. New England Patriots at Cincinnati Bengals
Oct. 8 8:30 p.m. Dallas Cowboys at Buffalo Bills
Oct. 15 8:30 p.m. N.Y. Giants at Atlanta Falcons
Oct. 22 8:30 p.m. Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars
Oct. 29 8:30 p.m. Green Bay Packers at Denver Broncos
Nov. 5 8:30 p.m. Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
Nov. 12 8:30 p.m. San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
Nov. 19 8:30 p.m. Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos
Nov. 26 8:30 p.m. Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers
Dec. 3 8:30 p.m. New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens
Dec. 10 8:30 p.m. New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
Dec. 17 8:30 p.m. Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
Dec. 24 8 p.m. Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers