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Back to football: Steelers-Vikings kick off preseason in NFL Hall of Fame Game on NBC


Thu, Aug 6th 2015 12:20 pm

"Sunday Night Football" team of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth call game joined by sideline reporter Paul Burmeister in Canton, Ohio

NBC Sports kicks off the NFL's 2015 preseason schedule with the NFL/Hall of Fame Game this Sunday, Aug. 9 (8 p.m. ET), on NBC, as two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers face 2014 All-Rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater and the Minnesota Vikings.

Calling Steelers-Vikings from Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, is seven-time Emmy Award-winner Al Michaels (play-by-play), in his 30th season as the voice of the NFL's premier primetime package; 16-time Emmy Award-winner Cris Collinsworth, who has won the Emmy for Outstanding Event Analyst in each of his six seasons in the "Sunday Night Football" booth; and Paul Burmeister, who reports from the sidelines. Burmeister, the co-host of "Pro Football Talk" on NBCSN, will fills in for "SNF" sideline reporter Michele Tafoya, who is in Kazan, Russia, working on NBC's coverage of the FINA World Swimming Championships.

Sunday night's telecast will also feature live interviews with members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2015, including running-back Jerome Bettis, who spent the last 10 seasons of his 13-year NFL career with the Steelers, and center Mick Tingelhoff, who played his entire 17-year NFL career with the Vikings. The Hall of Fame's Class of 2015 also includes wideout and kick returner Tim Brown, defensive end/linebacker Charles Haley, linebacker Junior Seau, guard Will Shields, former Colts general manager Bill Polian, and former Packers GM Ron Wolf.

NBC's second preseason game will air Sunday, Aug. 30, and features WR Larry Fitzgerald and the Arizona Cardinals vs. QB Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders from O.co Coliseum, in Oakland.

"NBC Sports Live Extra" will live stream the NFL/Hall of Fame Game to tablets and desktop computers. 

Highlights of the 2015 'Sunday Night Football' schedule

•19 primetime games, including the NFL's opening game of the season, "NFL Kickoff 2015" and NBC's annual Thanksgiving night game;

•Every 2014 playoff team makes an appearance on "SNF"; 16 of NBC's 18 scheduled games (Week 17 game TBD) involve at least one playoff team from last season; 11 of 18 include two playoff teams - including rematches of both conference championship games (Seahawks-Packers on Sept. 20 and Patriots-Colts on Oct. 18);

•Three games each for the Patriots, Seahawks, Packers, Broncos, Cowboys and Steelers;

•The Packers host the Bears on NBC's annual Thanksgiving night game. It is only the second Thanksgiving game to be played in Green Bay. The first - a Packers' 19-0 win over the Hammond Pros on Nov. 29, 1923 - was highlighted by a touchdown reception and pass from Curly Lambeau, the namesake of Lambeau Field. NBC will broadcast a Thanksgiving night game each season through 2022;

•Brady-Manning XVII as the New England Patriots visit the Denver Broncos on Nov. 29;

•Three high-profile matchups continue on NBC — Giants-Cowboys (Sept. 13) on NBC for the sixth time in five seasons; and Eagles-Cowboys (Nov. 8) and Steelers-Ravens (Dec. 27), both on NBC for the seventh consecutive season - tying for the longest streak of matchups on the broadcast primetime package in NFL history (ABC 1970-2005; NBC 2006-present);

•Memorable meetings in consecutive weeks in November, the first between quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay) and Peyton Manning (Denver) since 2008 (Nov. 1), and Philadelphia Eagles running back DeMarco Murray, the 2014 NFL rushing leader, returns to Dallas to face his former Cowboys teammates (Nov. 8).

NBC to broadcast 19 NFL games in 2015

As part of the agreement NBC signed with the NFL in December 2011, NBC, for the fourth straight season, will broadcast 19 regular-season games, including 17 regular-season "SNF" games, "NFL Kickoff 2015" and the annual Thanksgiving night game. NBC's original "SNF" agreement, which began in 2006, included 17 regular-season games. It was increased to 18 games in 2010.

'SNF' is No. 1 primetime program on television

For four consecutive full television seasons, "SNF" has finished as the No. 1 show in primetime in household rating, viewership and the coveted adult 18-49 demographic, based on live plus same day data from The Nielsen Company (September-May). This marks the only four times on record that a sports series has been the highest-rated and most-watched show of the primetime TV season. For the 2014-15 primetime television season, "SNF" ranked as the highest-rated (12.5 HH rating), most-watched show (21.3 million, viewers 2-plus), and the No. 1 program in the key adults 18-49 demographic (7.7 rating).

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