ESPN+ bringing back 'NFL PrimeTime' beginning Sunday
ESPN's 40th anniversary has become a perfect time for reunions. Only this one will last throughout the remainder of the NFL season.
ESPN+ is bringing back "NFL PrimeTime" with Chris Berman and Tom Jackson beginning Sunday after a 14-year absence. It will air on the streaming service on Sunday nights from 7:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. EDT and will be available on demand until Wednesday night.
ESPN had Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann back for "SportsCenter" on Sept. 6, but that was a one-night only affair.
"NFL PrimeTime" was a staple of ESPN's coverage of the league from 1987 to 2005, when the network aired Sunday night games and it was the only outlet to get extended highlights. It went off the air in 2006 when NBC took over the rights for "Sunday Night Football" and ESPN started airing "Monday Night Football."
Berman and Jackson did a Sunday night version of highlights from 2006 to 2015 but it didn't have the same feeling or length as "PrimeTime."
Berman said he has been in lengthy discussions with ESPN's brass about possibly returning. Not only does it celebrate a milestone anniversary for the network, but it also comes as the NFL celebrates its 100th season.
"I know how I hear all the time from fans that they wish the show was back. They say how they miss the highlights, Tom's analysis and the music," Berman said during a telephone interview. "There are many ways to get highlights now but this has the storytelling and the analysis. We'll have new viewers but will have plenty of old ones as well in a 21st Century format. That's kind of interesting when you think about it."
ESPN+ general manager Russell Wolff said the return of one of the network's most beloved shows on a new platform is a great combination.
With the show available until Wednesday it will include highlights of the Sunday and Monday night games when they conclude.
PrimeTime marks ESPN+'s third NFL offering. Peyton Manning is doing a series called "Peyton's Places," which takes a look at key moments in NFL history as the league celebrates its 100th season. Manning will also be part of the second season of "Detail," which analyzes key players during the season.
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