Chris Berman

The end of Chris Berman’s NFL Primetime was an ancillary effect of NBC acquiring the rights to Sunday Night Football in 2006. And if fans were crushed by the loss, imagine how Berman felt.

Berman joined the latest episode of The Adam Schein Podcast where the iconic ESPN announcer discussed the different variations of NFL Primetime. Schein recalled his own moment of disgust after learning NBC acquiring Sunday Night Football meant Primetime was getting the boot, and he asked Berman to share his reaction.

“Pissed. It’s my favorite thing that I do,” Berman told the SiriusXM Radio and podcast host. “I mean, I’ve had some other moments…but as far as going to work on a regular basis, NFL Primetime would be high on my professional tombstone, I would think. Pissed.”

From 1987-2005, Primetime aired every Sunday night throughout the football season. In addition to acquiring the rights to Sunday Night Football beginning in the 2006 season, NBC also negotiated exclusive rights for extended NFL highlights during its pregame show Football Night in America. Without the ability to show highlights Sunday night, Primetime as we knew it ceased to exist.

ESPN responded by moving Primetime to Mondays and giving Berman an extended segment during the 11 p.m. Sunday night edition of SportsCenter. Berman and co-host Tom Jackson attempted to mimic Primetime during the highlight-filled SportsCenter segment called The Blitz, but much of the show’s original luster was lost.

“NBC had the right to do that,” Berman told Schein. “They chose to do a different show and that’s fine, so we did another show, but we were limited in what we could show and it was not the same. So I was really disappointed.”

In 2019, Berman and Jackson reunited for a new rendition of NFL Primetime that mirrored their show from 13 years prior, only this version aired exclusively on ESPN+. Jackson left Primetime in 2020 and Berman has continued to host the digital show alongside Booger McFarland.

[The Adam Schein Podcast]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to bcontes@thecomeback.com