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Networks Ready for Gridiron Charity

National Football League games airing on Sunday and Monday will be a part of the league's "Hurricane Relief Weekend," a cross-network fundraising effort and telethon to benefit long-term recovery in the Gulf Coast region.

Games airing on ABC, CBS, ESPN and Fox will encourage viewers to donate to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund ( led by former Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton, which funds the long-term recovery of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.Starting at 6 p.m. on Sept. 19, a telethon hosted by ESPN's Chris Berman, ABC's Robin Roberts and Regis Philbin from New York's Times Square will be telecast on ESPN. For the telethon, a host of celebrities will answer phone calls and accept pledges, including ABC talent, ESPN commentators, and 30 current and former NFL players.Elements of the telethon will carry over into a 7:30 Saints-Giants game on ABC that will switch over to ESPN when a Monday Night Football Giants-Saints game kicks off at 9 p.m. on the broadcast network. (Thanks to a special lifting of blackout restrictions, ABC will continue to carry the former game in the New York and New Orleans markets.)“We appreciate the leadership of ABC and ESPN in helping us turn this particular Monday night into far more than a prime time football doubleheader, making it part of the overall Gulf Coast relief effort,” said NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.