ESPN to rekindle 'NFL PrimeTime' with Chris Berman and Tom Jackson, but only on streaming

Shalise Manza Young
Yahoo Sports Contributor
Chris Berman, left, and Tom Jackson are reviving ESPN's "NFL PrimeTime." (Getty Images)

If you’re of an NFL fan of a certain age, you probably spent many a fall Sunday night in front of your television watching ESPN’s “NFL PrimeTime,” the beloved highlights show.

For those who don’t know or aren’t old enough, there was a time not so long ago where your geographic location dictated which games you got to see on Sunday - if you were a Bears fan living in San Diego, you were probably out of luck.

“NFL PrimeTime” helped fill that void, spinning viewers around the league with highlights from all of the day’s games.

It’s coming back. For a small fee.

Chris Berman, Tom Jackson return

ESPN announced on Friday that “NFL PrimeTime” is making its return, starting this Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

One catch: it will only be available on ESPN+, the network’s streaming service that carries a $4.99 a month subscription price.

The show will air live and also be available on demand, with highlights from the Sunday night and Monday night games added.

The original “NFL PrimeTime” ran from 1987-2005; given how long it’s been since the original show first aired, the target audience for its return might not be big users of streaming services, making the choice to put it on ESPN+ a bit of an odd one.

Nicknames, banter and analysis

ESPN’s announcement mentions the back-and-forth banter between Berman, an icon at the network, and Jackson, a three-time Pro Bowl linebacker with the Denver Broncos in the 1970s and 80s.

It also mentions Berman’s nicknames - Ben “Winter” Coates, Eric “Sleeping with” Bieniemy - and Jackson’s analysis.

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The pair will be joined by “SportsCenter” anchor Scott Van Pelt and “Monday Night Football” play-by-play man Joe Tessitore, who will voice the highlights of the Sunday night and Monday night games.

“ESPN just celebrated its 40th birthday and the NFL is celebrating its 100th season,” Berman said in a statement. “What better way to commemorate both occasions than by bringing back ‘NFL PrimeTime’, now on ESPN+. I hope everyone is as excited about this as we are.”

“Chris Berman and Tom Jackson’s return to ‘NFL PrimeTime’ on ESPN+ combines one of ESPN’s most beloved franchises and signature voices with our most exciting new platform for fans,” ESPN+ general manager Russell Wolff said. “Chris and Tom are the best to ever call NFL highlights and now a whole new generation of fans will be able to watch them each week as ESPN+ showcases all the best plays and key moments from the week’s action in the National Football League.”

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