by Marc Vandermeer
There’s been a lot of talk about this being the Texans first Sunday Night Football appearance but it’s not.
Yet it is.
NBC took over the Sunday night slot in 2006 when ESPN agreed to pay over a billion dollars for Monday Night Football, sending the longtime television institution to cable. This would shift the marquee prime time game of the week to a night that previously had been occupied by ESPN’s Sunday Night Football which featured the Texans four times.
The ESPN Sunday night slate wasn’t nearly as attractive as Monday Night Football on ABC. ESPN would get some clunker games and some good ones but the very best were reserved for Mondays. Now, NBC gets the pick of the litter while Monday Night games are certainly better than the old ESPN Sunday nighters but not as good as NBC’s, overall. In fact, NBC, with some restrictions, gets to adjust its schedule later in the season to assure better match ups.
The television universe has changed. It feels awkward to say ‘cable’ and ‘over-the-air’ when referring to networks. But the fact is, the ‘over-the-air’ package on NBC is as close to the glory days of Howard Cosell, Dandy Don Meredith and Frank Gifford as you’re going to get.
That’s why this is so special for the Texans. Sure, they finally made the playoffs last year (and were seen on NBC, by the way). But this type of prime time regular season respect is something they have never received before.
Tags: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Don Meredith, ESPN, Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, NBC, Texans
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