ESPN, ABC Get Into the Game

NEW YORK ABC Sports and ESPN’s 9.5 hours of live programming for Super Bowl XL on Sunday, Feb. 5, includes a 3.5 hour pre-game show on ABC beginning at 2:30 p.m. and a six-hour hour pre-game show on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown beginning at 11 a.m.

The ABC pre-game show will air immediately following the network’s telecast of a National Basketball Association game pitting the New York Knicks against the Houston Rockets.

Bill Belichick, head coach of the New England Patriots, will join ABC’s pre-game coverage team, led by Chris Berman, with Steve Young, Michael Irvin and Tom Jackson. Stuart Scott will host ESPN pre-game coverage, with analysts Mike Ditka, Ron Jaworski, Sean Salisbury and Joe Theismann.

Each network will run a number of features, and the ABC pre-game coverage will include an interview with Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, the group that will perform the halftime show.

ESPN, headquartered in Bristol, Conn., is breaking a campaign on the game from Havas’ Arnold that touts its mobile phone sports information service [Adweek Online, Feb. 2].