NFL on NBC Radio

From 19851986, the NBC Radio Network was the official, national radio provider for National Football League games. The program succeeded (and was itself, ultimately succeeded by) the CBS Radio Network's[1] package.

Background

On March 6, 1985, NBC Radio and the National Football League entered into a two-year agreement[2] granting NBC the radio rights to a 37-game package in each of the 19851986 seasons. The package included 27 regular season games and 10 postseason games.

Prior to 1985

NBC Radio, as early as 1934, had carried a handful of NFL games; it was particularly associated with carrying the Detroit Lions' annual Thanksgiving contests nationwide since their inception, helping to establish the Lions as a permanent part of the Thanksgiving tradition.[3]

On April 5, 1961, NBC was awarded a two-year contract for radio and television rights[4] to the NFL Championship Game for US$615,000 annually, $300,000 of which was to go directly into the NFL Player Benefit Plan.[5]

From the 19661976 seasons, NBC Radio alternated with CBS Radio in coverage of the Super Bowl. After sharing coverage of Super Bowl I, NBC Radio would go on to broadcast only odd numbered Super Bowls. Jim Simpson served as the play-by-play man for all of NBC Radio's broadcasts (with the exceptions of Super Bowl III, which was called by Charlie Jones and Super Bowl V, which was called by Jay Randolph) during this era. Simpson, Jones and Randolph were joined on color commentary by George Ratterman (Super Bowls I and III), Pat Summerall (Super Bowl III), Al DeRogatis (Super Bowl V), Kyle Rote (Super Bowl VII), and John Brodie (Super Bowls IX and XI).

For their coverage of Super Bowl III at the end of the 1968 season, NBC used Pat Summerall (best known for his work for CBS and subsequently, Fox) to provide an "NFL prospective" on the coverage. This was due in part to the fact that NBC was at the time, the network television provider of the American Football League (whereas CBS was the network television provider for the pre-merger National Football League). In return, for CBS Radio's coverage of Super Bowls I, II and IV, they used Tom Hedrick, normally the radio voice of the Kansas City Chiefs, to provide an "AFL perspective" for their coverage.

Ratings

In January 1986, NBC Radio figures indicated an audience of 10 million for their coverage Super Bowl XX[6] between the Chicago Bears and New England Patriots.

In 1987, NBC Radio's broadcast of Super Bowl XXI[7] between the New York Giants and Denver Broncos was heard by a record 10.1 million people.

Announcers

Play-by-play

  1. Don Criqui
  2. Mel Proctor
  3. Marty Glickman (1985)/Tom Davis (1986)

Color commentary

  1. Bob Trumpy
  2. Dave Rowe
  3. Stan White

Bob Trumpy also hosted a national, postgame call-in show called NFL Live.[8] NFL Live would officially become the name of the pregame show for the NFL on NBC television program.

As the lead broadcast team, Criqui and Trumpy were responsible for calling Monday Night Football and the Super Bowl. They performed these duties in tandem with their assignments on television; at the time Trumpy served as Criqui's analyst on Sunday afternoons.

Thanksgiving Day series

1985

  1. Don Criqui/Bob Trumpy (Detroit vs. New York Jets)
  2. Mel Proctor/Dave Rowe (Dallas vs. St. Louis Cardinals)

1986

  1. Don Criqui/Bob Trumpy (Detroit vs. Green Bay)
  2. Mel Proctor/Dave Rowe (Dallas vs. Seattle)

Playoffs

  1. Joe McConnell/Stan White (New England vs. New York Jets)
  2. Don Criqui/Bob Trumpy (New York Giants vs. San Francisco)
  1. Marty Glickman/Stan White (Miami vs. Cleveland)
  2. Mel Proctor/Dave Rowe (Los Angeles Rams vs. Dallas)
  3. Don Criqui/Bob Trumpy (Chicago vs. New York Giants)
  4. Mel Proctor/Dave Rowe (New England vs. Los Angeles Raiders)
  1. Mel Proctor/Dave Rowe (Chicago vs. Los Angeles Rams)
  2. Don Criqui/Bob Trumpy (New England vs. Miami)
  1. Don Criqui/Bob Trumpy (New York Jets vs. Kansas City)
  2. Mel Proctor/Dave Rowe (Washington vs. Los Angeles Rams)
  1. Tom Davis/Stan White (Cleveland vs. New York Jets)
  2. Mel Proctor/Dave Rowe (Washington vs. Chicago)
  3. Don Criqui/Bob Trumpy (New York Giants vs. San Francisco)
  4. Mel Proctor/Dave Rowe (Denver vs. New England)
  1. Mel Proctor/Dave Rowe (Denver vs. Cleveland)
  2. Don Criqui/Bob Trumpy (New York Giants vs. Washington)

Pro Bowl

1986

  1. Don Criqui/Bob Trumpy

1987

  1. Mel Proctor/Bob Trumpy

NBC's later relationship with the NFL

NBC Radio was bought by Westwood One shortly after losing NFL rights; Westwood One has owned the rights (either alone or in conjunction with CBS) ever since. Westwood One (along with its NFL rights) was acquired by Dial Global in 2011, and following the 2011 postseason Dial Global retired the Westwood One branding. In 2012, Dial Global announced it would be the distributor for NBC Sports Radio programming once the network launched in 2013, but has yet to make an announcement regarding whether or not the NFL coverage will assume NBC branding or keep the CBS branding (as it currently is). Dial Global changed names again re-assuming the Westwood One name now all NFL content is under the title of the NFL on Westood One.

The former Westwood One had a long-standing relationship with CBS Radio. CBS' parent company owned the network for approximately ten years (1998–2008) and, through the CBS Radio Network, maintained control of the production of certain programming, including NFL games, an arrangement that continued following Westwood One's acquisition by Dial Global through the end of the 2011 NFL season. Westwood One now acknowledges the NBC Radio broadcasts as part of the entire history of the network's football coverage.[9]

NBC NFL Sunday

In 2006, the NBC television network, resumed their National Football League coverage (under the NBC Sunday Night Football umbrella) for the first time since losing the American Football Conference package to CBS after the 1997 season.

As part of the relaunch of their coverage, NBC became a co-producer of Westwood One's radio pregame/highlight show NFL Sunday, adding the network's name to the coverage and turning it into an abbreviated radio version of Football Night in America. Al Trautwig hosted the show for the first several weeks of the season before being taken off the coverage for unspecified reasons. Chris Carlin subbed for Trautwig for a week before Scott Graham took over the hosting duties and continued to helm the show for the remainder of the season. In addition to the typical NFL Sunday score rundown and preview of the game ahead, NBC analysts (usually Jerome Bettis or Cris Collinsworth) would provide commentary.

After the 2006 season, Westwood One returned NFL Sunday to its previous format and ended the co-production arrangement with NBC.

References

  1. ^ "NFL and CBS Radio jointly announced agreement granting CBS the radio rights to a 40-game package in each of the next three NFL seasons, 1987–89, April 7". Nfl.com. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
  2. ^ "NBC Radio and the NFL entered into a two-year agreement granting NBC the radio rights to a 37-game package in each of the 1985–86 seasons, March 6. The package included 27 regular-season games and 10 postseason games". Nfl.com. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
  3. ^ Jaworowski, Matt (November 24, 2016). Timeline: How football became a Thanksgiving tradition. WIVB-TV. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  4. ^ "NBC wins NFL Championship Game contract for radio and television rights". NBC Sports History Page.
  5. ^ "NBC was awarded a two-year contract for radio and television rights to the NFL Championship Game for $615,000 annually, $300,000 of which was to go directly into the NFL Player Benefit Plan, April 5". Nfl.com. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
  6. ^ "Chicago defeated New England 46–10 in Super Bowl XX at the Louisiana Superdome, January 26. The Patriots had earned the right to play the Bears by becoming the first wild-card team to win three consecutive games on the road. The NBC telecast replaced the final episode of M*A*S*H as the most-viewed television program in history, with an audience of 127 million viewers, according to A.C. Nielsen figures. In addition to drawing a 48.3 rating and a 70 percent share in the United States, Super Bowl XX was televised to 59 foreign countries and beamed via satellite to the QE II. An estimated 300 million Chinese viewed a tape delay of the game in March. NBC Radio figures indicated an audience of 10 million for the game". Nfl.com. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
  7. ^ "The New York Giants defeated Denver 39–20 in Super Bowl XXI and captured their first NFL title since 1956. The game, played in Pasadena's Rose Bowl, drew a sellout crowd of 101,063. According to A.C. Nielsen figures, the CBS broadcast of the game was viewed in the U.S. on television by 122.64-million people, making the telecast the second most-watched television show of all-time behind Super Bowl XX. The game was watched live or on tape in 55 foreign countries and NBC Radio's broadcast of the game was heard by a record 10.1 million people". Nfl.com. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
  8. ^ "Nfl Live Gives Monday Night Football Fan A Post-Game". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
  9. ^ Categories (2010-06-30). "Kevin Harlan Joins 'Westwood One' As Monday Night Football Play-By-Play Announcer | Satellite Television News". Satellitetv-news.com. Retrieved 2012-10-03.

External links

Joe McConnell

Joseph Fredrick McConnell (March 10, 1939 – April 8, 2018) was an American sports announcer.

NFL on NBC

The NFL on NBC is the branding used for broadcasts of National Football League (NFL) games that are produced by NBC Sports, and televised on the NBC television network in the United States.

NBC had sporadically carried NFL games as early as 1939, including the championship and Pro Bowl through the 1950s and early 1960s. Beginning in 1965, NBC signed an agreement to carry the American Football League's telecasts, which carried over with the American Football Conference (AFC) when the AFL merged with the NFL. NBC would continuously carry the AFL/AFC's Sunday afternoon games from 1965 through the 1997 season, after which NBC lost the AFC contract to CBS.

NFL coverage returned to NBC on August 6, 2006, under the title NBC Sunday Night Football, beginning with its coverage of the preseason Pro Football Hall of Fame Game. From 2016 to 2017, NBC added a five-game Thursday Night Football package to its offerings supplementing two Thursday games that were already part of the Sunday Night Football package. Game coverage is usually preceded by the pregame show Football Night in America.

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