Synergy! NBCUniversal Brings In NBC News, E!, Weather Channel and More For NFL Kickoff

By Alex Weprin 

This Thursday, the 2011-2012 NFL season kicks off with the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers taking on the New Orleans Saints. The game will be broadcast on NBC, so naturally the network is making full use of its corporate siblings to promote the event.

NBC News, CNBC, Weather Channel, E! and other networks will all have football-related programming this week, leading up to Thursday’s big game.

Media companies such as NBCUniversal and News Corp. pay big money to secure sports rights, so they make sure that they leverage their other resources to maximize tune-in. For example, earlier this Summer Fox News sent a number of hosts and producers to Arizona during the MLB All-Star Game, and featured baseball in a number of segments that might have otherwise focused on different news.

So what does NBC have planned?

NBC News will have Matt Lauer and Al Roker on-site in Green Bay, Wisconsin Thursday, with “Today” featuring a number of segments focusing on football. Roker and Stephanie Abrams will also host their Weather Channel program from on-site.

CNBC’s sports business reporter Darren Rovell will be in Wisconsin, reporting on the NFL and other sports issues for the cable channel. On NBC, “America’s Got Talent,” “Access Hollywood,””The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” will all have football-related segments, while E! and Telemundo will be live and on-site at Lambeau Field as well.

More information in the release and video below.



TODAY, Tonight Show, CNBC, E! & Others Report From Green Bay

NEW YORK – Sept. 6, 2011 – NBCUniversal is getting “Back to Football” with NFL-themed programming all week and unprecedented coverage from Green Bay, Wis., this Thursday to celebrate the start of the 2011 NFL season.

Rivaling NBCUniversal’s presence at the Olympics and Super Bowl, NBCU will be on site in Green Bay covering the annual NFL Kickoff celebration in the city of the Super Bowl Champion. This year’s game is a matchup of the last two Super Bowl champions as the Packers host the New Orleans Saints from historic Lambeau Field

“For so many Americans, the start of football season is a special time, and once again the NBCUniversal family helps to build upon the momentum when our country gets ‘Back to Football,’” said John Miller, CMO of NBCU Television Group and head of NBC Sports Agency. “This is the first NFL season for the new NBCUniversal and more assets than ever are involved in the NBC Sports Group’s ‘Big Event Strategy.’”

Highlights of NBCUniversal’s “Back to Football” Week:

TODAY Show: Matt Lauer and Al Roker will be on-site in Green Bay to report on Kickoff festivities on Thursday. Segments include live interviews with NBC Sports commentators, pre-taped and live features with Packers and Saints players, and reports on the fan and entertainment aspects of Kickoff.

The TODAY Show will also celebrate “Back to Football” throughout the show and encourage viewers to wear jerseys to school and work to celebrate “Back to Football Friday.”
TODAY’s fourth hour with Kathie Lee and Hoda will celebrate “Back to Football Week” with a special NFL-themed segment on Wednesday.
Weekend TODAY: The nation’s No. 1 weekend morning news show will interview one of NBC’s “Football Night in America” studio analysts on Saturday morning.

Access Hollywood: On Thursday, Access Hollywood will air a behind-the-scenes feature with Faith Hill recording and performing the Sunday Night Football opener, “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night.”

America’s Got Talent: America’s No. 1 primetime show of the summer will incorporate an NFL Kickoff message and Back to Football information into the Tuesday and Wednesday primetime shows this week.

Weather Channel: Al Roker and Stephanie Abrams will be on-site in Green Bay reporting live for “Wake Up with Al” and “Your Weather Today” on Thursday.

CNBC: Sports-business reporter Darren Rovell will be on-site in Green Bay reporting live for CNBC’s daytime coverage on Thursday.

Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Correspondent Rove McManus will do a taped feature from Green Bay, interviewing fans and Green Bay locals for a Kickoff special feature that will air on Thursday. Jay Leno will also promote Kickoff in his monologues Wednesday through Friday, promoting both NFL Kickoff and the start of the “Sunday Night Football” season.

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: During “Back to Football Week,” Jimmy Fallon will promote NFL Kickoff with football-themed segments and sketches.

E!: The 24-hour network with programming dedicated to the world of entertainment will report live from Green Bay on Thursday for E! News, the premiere destination for celebrity news.

Telemundo: Late night sports and entertainment show, Titulares y Mas, will be on-site in Green Bay covering the Kickoff concert and all the NFL Kickoff news.

Universal Orlando Theme Park: Universal Orlando will promote “Back to Football” and NFL Kickoff 2011 to all park guests Thursday through Sunday. Promotion includes NBC Sports NFL promos airing on the CityWalk Astrovision screens and on the large stage screens. CityWalk restaurant/bar employees will wear NFL jerseys and all park turnstile employees will wear NFL hats.

NBC Affiliates and Comcast Regional Sports Networks: Local correspondents will report live from Green Bay on Thursday, feeding content to all 235 local stations and 11 Comcast Regional Sports Networks. NBC affiliates in NFL markets will also help celebrate “Back to Football Friday,” by wearing NFL customized jerseys on-air Friday morning.