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NEW YORK – Aug. 28, 2012 – The Sunday Night Football broadcast team of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth and Football Night in America analysts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison join NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus and SNF producer Fred Gaudelli to preview the 2012 NFL season on a media conference call Tomorrow (Wednesday, August 29) at Noon ET.

Dial 913-643-4197 to participate and ask for the “NFL Kickoff” call.

The NFL will open the regular season on NBC on Wednesday, Sept. 5, with NFL Kickoff 2012; the opening game of the 2012 season featuring the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants hosting their division rival, the Dallas Cowboys from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Coverage begins on NBC at 7:30 p.m. ET. Then on Sunday, Sept. 9, Peyton Manning makes his first regular-season appearance as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos as they host the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first Sunday Night Football game of the season

Michaels returns for his seventh season with Sunday Night Football and is entering his 27th year as the play-by-play voice of the NFL’s premier primetime package (SNF: 2006-present, MNF: 1986-2005). The six-time Emmy Award winner has appeared on primetime broadcast television more than anyone in the history of the medium and is the only commentator to call the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and host the Stanley Cup Final for network television.

Collinsworth is in his fourth season in the SNF booth alongside Michaels, and has won the Emmy for Outstanding Game Analyst in each prior season. Prior to joining Michaels, Collinsworth spent three seasons in the studio for Football Night in America. He is the most-honored studio analyst in sports television history, winning the Emmy in that category in nine of the 12 years of its existence.

Dungy returns for his fourth season as an analyst for Football Night in America. The historic Super Bowl-winning coach, whose teams made the playoffs each of his last 10 seasons, has been critically acclaimed in the Football Night studio including being nominated for an Emmy Award and being called “the most refreshingly honest voice on television” by Michael Wilbon host of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption.

Harrison, the three-time All-Pro and two-time Super Bowl champion, also returns for his fourth season on Football Night in America as an analyst. Harrison, called “candid and still hard hitting” by USA Today, retired after the 2008 season from the NFL after a 15-year-career in which he made three Pro Bowl appearances. He is the only player in NFL history with at least 30 career sacks and 30 career interceptions.

SNF NO. 1 PRIMETIME PROGRAM ON TELEVISION: For the 2011-2012 primetime television season (September 19-April 16), Sunday Night Football ranked as the most-watched (persons 2+) and highest-rated show, and the No. 1 program across the key demographics of Adults 18-49, 18-34, 25-54, as well as Men 18-49, 18-34 and 25-54, based on Nielsen live + same day data. Additionally, SNF was the No. 3 show among Women 18-34, and the No. 4 show among Women 18-49.

The critically acclaimed Football Night in America, which precedes Sunday Night Football, each week at 7 p.m. ET, was seen by an average of 8.9 million in 2011, its best season ever, and the most for a regularly-scheduled NFL studio show.

Sunday Night Football has won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Sports Series in each of the last four years.

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NBC will broadcast 19 primetime NFL games during the 2012 season, highlighted by: the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants hosting their division rivals the Dallas Cowboys on NFL Kickoff 2012; storied rivalries such as Steelers-Ravens, Eagles-Cowboys, and Giants-Eagles; two games featuring Peyton Manning with his new team the Denver Broncos - hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers on the first Sunday Night Football game of the season, and the New Orleans Saints in Week 8; and NBC’s first Thanksgiving night game, featuring New England Patriots at the New York Jets.

Highlights of the 2012 Sunday Night Football schedule:

  • 19 primetime games, including the opening Wednesday night game and a new Thanksgiving night game;
  • Every 2011 playoff team makes an appearance on Sunday Night Football; 16 of NBC’s 18 scheduled games involve at least one playoff team from last season; 10 of 18 include two playoff teams (Week 17 game TBD);
  • Three games each for Giants, Cowboys, Patriots, Steelers and Packers.
  • The defending Super Bowl Champion Giants host their division rivals the Cowboys in the Wednesday night NFL Kickoff 2012 on September 5;
  • The Jets host the Patriots on NBC’s first-ever Thanksgiving night game. NBC will broadcast a Thanksgiving night game each season through 2022 as part of the new NFL agreement;
  • Peyton Manning, in his first game as a member of the Denver Broncos, as they host Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the opening Sunday Night Football game of the season on September 9;
  • Three matchups among bitter NFC East rivals: Cowboys-Giants, Giants-Eagles, and Eagles-Cowboys;
  • Three playoff rematches, including a rematch of the AFC Championship Game when the Ravens host the Patriots in Week 3;
  • The first Sunday Night Football regular-season trip to Houston, as the Texans host the Packers in Week 6, and Cincinnati as the Bengals host the Steelers in Week 7;

NBC TO BROADCAST 19 NFL GAMES IN 2012: As part of the new agreement NBC signed with the NFL in December,2011,NBC will now broadcast 19 regular-season games, including 17 regular season Sunday Night Football games, NFL Kickoff 2012, and the new Thanksgiving night game. NBC’s original Sunday Night Football agreement, which began in 2006, included 17 regular-season games. It was increased to 18 games in 2010.

Wed. Sept. 5 NFL Kickoff Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants
Sun. Sept. 9 Week 1 Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos
Sun. Sept. 16 Week 2 Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers
Sun. Sept. 23 Week 3 New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens
Sun. Sept. 30 Week 4 New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
Sun. Oct. 7 Week 5 San Diego Chargers at New Orleans Saints
Sun. Oct. 14 Week 6 Green Bay Packers at Houston Texans
Sun. Oct. 21 Week 7 Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
Sun. Oct. 28 Week 8 New Orleans Saints at Denver Broncos
Sun. Nov. 4 Week 9 Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons
Sun. Nov. 11 Week 10 Houston Texans at Chicago Bears
*Sun. Nov. 18 Week 11 Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
**Thurs. Nov. 22 Week 12 New England Patriots at New York Jets
*Sun. Nov. 25 Week 12 Green Bay Packers at New York Giants
*Sun. Dec. 2 Week 13 Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
*Sun. Dec. 9 Week 14 Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
*Sun. Dec. 16 Week 15 San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots
*Sun. Dec. 23 Week 16 San Diego Chargers at New York Jets
*Sun. Dec. 30 Week 17 TBA

*Flex Week

** Thanksgiving Night Game

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