On Sundays during the NFL season, ESPN has two pregame shows airing simultaneously, Sunday NFL Countdown on the Mothership and Fantasy Football Now on ESPN2. Both aired at 11 a.m. ET and ran until the 1 p.m. kickoffs. Come September, both will continue airing at the same time, but in a three-hour timeslot starting at 10 a.m.
Gone will be NFL Insiders – Sunday Edition which led into Countdown last year. The main edition of NFL Insiders was canceled earlier this year and folded into NFL Live, so it’s a natural progression that the Sunday edition would be gone as well.
ESPN executive vice president of programming and scheduling, Burke Magnus says with so much attention on the NFL, it’s only natural that both shows get an extra hour:
“With the tremendous interest in the NFL, we are particularly excited to expand Sunday NFL Countdown and Fantasy Football Now to three hours, with each show offering a distinct pregame experience featuring our expert hosts, analysts and insiders.”
Sunday NFL Countdown will have a new host in Samantha Ponder, taking over for long-time frontman Chris Berman. Matt Hasselbeck, Randy Moss, and Charles Woodson return. Former New York Jets and Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan will replace Trent Dilfer, who was laid off earlier this year.
Fantasy Football Now will feature mainstays Tim Hasselbeck, Stephania Bell, Matthew Berry and Field Yates. Last year, the show was co-hosted by Michael Smith and Sara Walsh. It appears it will have a new anchor team in place as Walsh has since been laid off and Smith is busy on the 6 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter.
Also on Sundays this fall, SportsCenter will air live on the Mothership from 7-10 a.m. ET before shifting to ESPNEWS from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
E:60, which has been airing on ESPN at 9 a.m., will move to ESPN2 and lead into Fantasy Football Now.
And just for the hell of it, College Football Final will reair in the morning on ESPNU
So this is the ESPN Family of Networks’ schedule between 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Sundays during NFL season:
Sunday NFL Countdown — ESPN
Fantasy Football Now — ESPN2
SportsCenter — ESPNEWS
College Football Final — ESPNU
It’s a new/not-so-new lineup on Sunday mornings. We only hope that ESPN produces a completely different promo totally unlike last year’s dumpster fire.