ESPN To Close Out NFL Season with New Saturday Doubleheader

Las Vegas, NV - September 13, 2021 - Allegiant Stadium: Brian Griese, John Parry, Steve Levy and Louis Reddick prior to a regular season Monday Night Football game.
ESPN Monday Night Football announcers (from l.): Brian Griese, John Parry, Steve Levy and Louis Riddick. (Image credit: Al Powers/ESPN Images)

ESPN said it will close out its coverage of the National Football League’s regular season with the premiere of Monday Night Football: Doubleheader Saturday on Jan. 8.

The games will be simulcast on ABC and streamed on ESPN Plus.

The new doubleheader was one of the results of the new rights deal The Walt Disney Co. signed with the NFL in March. It will be part of the league’s Week 18 — a longer season in which each team plays 17 games, up from 16 previously.

Also: Double Double Headers Part of NFL Plan To Boost Viewership

The teams to play in the doubleheader will be announced after Week 17 is played, but ESPN said both matchups will have playoff implications.

ESPN will also be televising a playoff game during the league’s Super Wild Card weekend. That game will have a mega-cast format, including a Maningcast featuring Peyton and Eli Manning,

Announcers Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick, Lisa Salters and John Parry will call one game. That group will be concluding their second regular season on Monday Night Football. They will also call ESPN’s Super Wild Card game. 

ESPN’s top college football announcing team, Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit, will call the other game. The pair previously worked an NFL game last September when the Steelers played the Giants. Laura Rutledge, host of NFL LIve, will be the on-field reporter for that game.

ABC and ESPN Plus will also be simulcasting ESPN’s MNF game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears on Dec. 20. ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.