NEW YORK – September 7, 2011 – Due to President Barack Obama's speech, four widely-distributed NBCUniversal cable channels – VERSUS, USA, Syfy and G4 – as well as NFL Network will all begin coverage of NFL KICKOFF 2011 PRESENTED BY EA SPORTS, the pregame show to officially celebrate the start of the 2011 NFL season, at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday.
NFL Kickoff 2011, which has been extended to 90 minutes, was originally scheduled to air on NBC but is now being preempted due to President Obama's speech, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET. NBC will join NFL Kickoff 2011 in progress once its coverage of the speech has concluded and VERSUS, USA, Syfy and G4 will resume their regularly-scheduled programming shortly thereafter. NFL Network will carry NFL Kickoff 2011 in its entirety.
The President's speech is not expected to conflict in any way with NBC's Thursday night coverage of the first game of the 2011 NFL season, scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. ET and featuring the last two Super Bowl champions -- the New Orleans Saints at the Green Bay Packers -- from historic Lambeau Field.
NFL Kickoff 2011 will feature musical performances by award-winning artists Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum and Maroon 5 from a stage adjacent to Lambeau Field. The musical performances are part of the celebration to kick off the 2011 season and to honor the Super Bowl champion Packers. This is the 10th consecutive Kickoff celebration to start the season and the eighth consecutive year the NFL has saluted the Super Bowl champions with the opening game in their stadium on a Thursday in primetime.
The 90-minute pregame celebration will also feature Football Night in America and Sunday Night Football commentators Bob Costas, Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Dan Patrick, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Peter King and Mike Florio live from Green Bay as they examine the impending 2011 NFL season.
On Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET, NBC is adding a one-hour NFL special to preview the season. It will look ahead to the first full Sunday of football, address the season's major story lines, feature a Bob Costas interview with New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, and show unseen musical performances from NFL Kickoff 2011.
NBC concludes NFL Kickoff weekend on Sunday, September 11 with Football Night in America (7 p.m. ET) followed by Sunday Night Football (8:30 p.m. ET), featuring the Dallas Cowboys at the New York Jets, airing at their traditionally-scheduled times.