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NBC UPS ANTE ON NFL PREGAME SHOW BY GOING TO FULL HOUR
Published March 13, 1996
The "NFL on NBC" pre-game show will be expanded to a one- hour weekly format next year. The show will air at 12:00 noon each Sunday, marking the first time NBC Sports will present a weekly hour-long studio pre-game show for an entire season. NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol said the move could not have "been accomplished without the extensive cooperation we received from our affiliates across the country and our own news division" (NBC Sports). Ebersol told USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand the move is "something I've clearly stated for the last two years that we'd never do." But he said affiliates have been offered a five- minute window in the show's first half-hour for their own program inserts. Ebersol also said NBC will never use the running on- screen score like Fox, adding that 90% of viewers say the only reason they liked it was it allowed them to catch the score and turn the game off. Ebersol: "My No. 1 responsibility is building big audiences" (USA TODAY, 3/13). NBC has promised five minutes of commercial time to local stations to sell as their own to make up revenue (Baltimore SUN, 3/13). NBC Sports Exec Producer Tom Roy is expected to be named NBC's new No. 1 game producer (USA TODAY, 3/13).