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NFL Week 7 Broadcast Preview

October 18, 2007 1:37 PM

A rundown of the broadcast plans for this weekend’s NFL games, including Russell Crowe, Steve Carell and, oh yeah, several games with potential playoff implications:

FOX
Fox takes back the doubleheader on Sunday, and finally gets its full docket of games after a slew of NFL matchups on NBC and ESPN.
After switching the Dallas Cowboys/Minnesota Vikings game to a 4:15 p.m. start, Fox now features a national doubleheader, with the early game being the New York Giants/San Francisco 49ers. The Giants game will air in 51 percent of the country with Matt Vasgersian, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa serving as talent. Four other 1 p.m. NFC games are in line, with Chris Rose, Terry Donahue and Eric Richey calling the action for Atlanta Falcons/New Orleans Saints, airing in 7 percent of the country. Ron Pitts, Tony Boselli and Jennifer Hammond make the calls on Tampa Bay/Detroit in 20 percent of the U.S., and the Arizona Cardinals at the Washington Redskins will be seen in 17 percent of the nation. Sam Rosen, Tim Ryan and Dave Feldman will call the shots there.

Here’s a look at which Fox early games are playing where.

NFL on Fox Regional Games (Click image to view.)
In afternoon action, Troy Aikman, Kenny Albert and Pam Oliver take the microphone for the Cowboys/Vikings for 76 percent of the country. Dick Stockton, Brian Baldinger and Don Tellefson will be on hand for the Chicago Bears/Philadelphia Eagles game, carried in 14 percent of the country. Finally, Matt Devlin, JC Pearson and Cara Capuano call the Rams/Seahawks contest on 6 percent of the Fox affiliates.
NFL on Fox National Games (Click image to view. Select page 2.)
CBS CBS will place the network’s lead announcer team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms on the Kansas City Chiefs/Oakland Raiders game live from McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, Calif. The 4:05 p.m. matchup will be seen in 24 percent of the country. The channel’s 1 p.m. games will feature Dick Enberg and Randy Cross calling the Titans/Texans game in 19 percent of the country, Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon on the Ravens/Bills contest in 12 percent of the country and Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf on the Patriots/Dolphins game for 26 percent of the affiliates. “Both these teams are coming off tough losses,” said Mr. Cross of the Titans/Texans game. “Tennessee had a tough loss against Tampa, between Vince Young getting hurt and Jeff Garcia making big plays when he had to. Houston was a little bit different. They ran into a buzz saw with Jacksonville. The Texans are improved. It depends on what they do in this next pod of games. But from that Jacksonville game they have to have a lot of questions both inside and out.” In addition to the Chiefs game at 4 p.m., the network will feature Ian Eagle and Solomon Wilcots in the booth for the Jets/Cincinnati game in 19 percent of the nation.

NBC
NBC will feature a strong game between the Steelers and the Broncos on “NBC Sunday Night Football.” As usual, Al Michaels will call play-by-play and John Madden will serve as analyst from Invesco Field at Mile High.
This is the first “Sunday Night Football” game for either team this season. Last year Pittsburgh appeared twice on NBC, defeating the Dolphins 28-17 in the opening game of the NFL season and losing to the Chargers 23-13 in Week 5. The Broncos, meanwhile, had three games on “SNF” last season, defeating the Patriots 17-7 in Week 3 and losing to the Chargers 35-27 in Week 11 and to the Seahawks 23-20 in Week 13.
“Denver came into Pittsburgh’s house last year and beat up on the Steelers (31-20). So the Steelers will be looking for revenge,” said NBC’s “Football Night in America” analyst Jerome Bettis. “When you go and play in Denver, you can’t breathe. So you have to understand that there is going to be some breathing issues. There’s going to be some burning in your chest that you’re going to have to deal with.”

ESPN
The channel is drawing headlines for Jimmy Kimmel’s comments earlier in the week when he visited the “Monday Night Football” booth. According to reports, the late-night host will be banned from the MNF booth due to comments he made on the air about Joe Theismann and others. However, the channel said the door is not closed, releasing a statement saying, “We have had a great relationship working with Jimmy and we will continue to work with him in the future.”
ESPN did land what may be the most intriguing game of the week in a Colts/Jaguars game. In addition, Russell Crowe will make a booth appearance in the third quarter while “The Office” star Steve Carell will appear in the opening tease to offer his advice to Colts quarterback Peyton Manning.
The game telecast and “Countdown” pre-game show will highlight new music from Carrie Underwood (singles “Flat on the Floor” and “Twisted”) and Hurricane Chris (singles “A Bay Bay” and “The Hand Clap Song”) as part of “Monday Night Musicians.” The songs will be played coming in and out of commercials and during highlight packages.

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