Manning Likely To Increase Broncos' NFL Primetime TV Exposure
There is a "strong chance" the Broncos will play their season opener Sept. 9 on NBC's "Sunday Night Football," according to Mike Klis of the DENVER POST. The game will mark the regular-season debut of QB Peyton Manning with the team, and the possible opponents for the game include the Steelers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High or the Patriots on the road. The NFL "might not want another Denver home opponent, the New Orleans Saints, showcased in Week 1" because of their bounty scandal. Broncos President Joe Ellis said, "Our fans should get ready for more night games. Home and road." An NFL team can have "a maximum of six prime-time TV games a season." The Broncos likely "were going to be a prime-time NFL draw this season" before signing Manning due to QB Tim Tebow's presence (DENVER POST, 3/27). However, in N.Y., Bob Raissman reported both NBC and ESPN "are concerned about Manning having a physical setback and not being able to play" at the beginning of the season, leaving them "stuck with a game they feel will be unable to generate the kind of TV ratings a Manning-led Broncos team would produce." Raissman: "It’s likely Denver’s prime-time appearances will be scheduled later in the season" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/25).
GOING LOCAL: In Denver, Dusty Saunders noted audiences should look for Manning to be a regular on KUSA-NBC, "fronting a weekly, 30-minute show during the season." That is something he "never did in Indianapolis while starring for the Colts." In addition, details are "being worked out with Manning and Broncos management" with KTVD-TV, KUSA's sister station. A Broncos QB show "has become a Denver TV tradition -- particularly on KUSA" (DENVER POST, 3/26).