ESPN - Sunday Night Football

ESPN Sunday Night Football was the ESPN cable network's weekly television broadcasts of Sunday evening National Football League (NFL) games. The first ESPN Sunday night broadcast occurred on November 8, 1987, while the last one aired on January 1, 2006. ESPN broadcast Sunday night games from the second half of the NFL season to the end from 1987-1997 (TNT broadcast the first half from 1990 to 1997). Beginning in 1998, they broadcast the entire slate of Sunday night games, and had exclusive rights to any night game other than the season opener and regular Monday games, which aired on ABC. Thus, ESPN would usually have a few weekends each season with games on both Saturday (sometimes Thursday instead) and Sunday nights.

Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann, and (from 1998 on) Paul Maguire were in the announcing booth, and Suzy Kolber reported from the sidelines.

During Sunday Night Football's first season in 1987, the announcing booth had Patrick, Roy Firestone, and a weekly "guest color commentator." Theismann took over as lead analyst after that.

In 2002, ESPN's SNF crew covered the new Thursday, opening night kickoff game.

In 2004, Pat Summerall replaced Patrick for the preseason and for several regular season weeks following Patrick's recovery from open-heart surgery.

After the 2005 season, ESPN ended this package in favor of Monday Night Football. The Sunday-night time slot now hosts various sporting events under the name Sunday Showdown. Sunday night NFL games are now broadcast by NBC.


Guest commentators (1987 only)Edit