NFL Season Gets Rare Wednesday Kickoff To Make Way For Obama Speech

It looks like another speech from President Obama is behind the NFL‘s decision to move its regular-season opener between the Dallas Cowboys and Super Bowl champion New York Giants to a Wednesday this year — September 5. The next night, Obama is scheduled to speak at the Democratic National Convention.┬áThe league has held its opener on a Thursday night since 2002, but last year Obama’s jobs speech before a joint session of Congress on opening night forced some shuffling at NBC, which televises the game (the pregame show was shifted to the network’s sibling cable channels Versus, USA, Syfy and G4 as well as the NFL Network, and NBC joined the program in progress after the speech). This year’s kickoff, set for 8:30 PM ET at New York’s Metlife Stadium, will be the first Wednesday affair since 1948, the league says. It’s worth it for all involved to clear the way: last year’s Sunday Night Football telecast of the game between the rival Cowboys and Giants on Jan. 1 drew 27.6 million viewers (making it the most-watched regular-season primetime game in 15 years) and posted a 17.1 overnight rating, an SNF record. The past two season openers tallied 17.2 (in 2011) and 17.7 (in 2010) overnights.

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