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FormatNFL talk/ analysis
StarringSal Paolantonio, Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge
Country of originUSA
Production
Running time30 min.
Broadcast
Original channelESPN (1993-)
Original runSeptember 5, 1993 – Present

NFL Matchup is a National Football League preview show that airs every week during the regular season and playoffs. As of 2006, the official name is State Farm NFL Matchup, and it is produced by NFL Films.

As of the 2008-2009 NFL season, it airs every Sunday during the season on ESPN at 3:00am ET, then re-airs at 7:30am ET.

FormatEdit

Unlike Sunday NFL Countdown, NFL Primetime, Monday Night Countdown and NFL Live, NFL Matchup gives fans an in-depth look at the NFL by breaking down the strategy and tactics—the "X's and O's", after the symbols commonly used by coaches to diagram plays—of every pro football game. The program's analysts do this through the exclusive use of team-supplied coaching footage, the same video coaches and players use each week to prepare game plans and strategy.

HistoryEdit

The show started in 1984 as Monday Night Matchup with Chris Berman as host with Allie Sherman, former Giants coach, and Steve Sabol of NFL Films providing analysis.[1]

From 1993 to 2003, it was hosted by Mark Malone, SportsCenter anchor Stuart Scott and finally, ESPN sideline reporter Suzy Kolber, who became the first female to host an NFL show.

Since the 2004 season Sunday NFL Countdown and SportsCenter correspondent Sal Paolantonio has served as the host. Alongside him are Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge. Jaworski, who also appears on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown, joined ESPN in 1990 after a 17 year career as a quarterback, most notably with the Philadelphia Eagles. The show fits Jaworski style of breaking down the X's and O's of the football gridiron game.

Hoge joined ESPN in 1996, where he serves as an analyst on NFL Live and ESPNews Football Friday, as well as NFL Matchup. He is a former fullback and an eight-year veteran, serving five of those years as a starter for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Television tape was used until 1994, when game film was used.[1]

The program converted to a high definition presentation for the 2011 season, though some game footage camera angles (which are mainly used by coaching staffs, and rarely by television networks during game broadcasts except in a few circumstances) remain provided to ESPN by the NFL in 480i standard definition. With Jim Rome is Burning, which ended at the end of January 2012 never converting to HD, NFL Matchup was both the final ESPN program to convert to HD and the only one still utilizing some SD presentation outside of SD SportsCenter highlights.

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