ESPN America and ESPN America HD will bring fans across Europe the most authentic and comprehensive coverage of all the action from the 2011-12 NFL Playoffs with eleven live games, beginning with the Wild Card games on Saturday 7 January and culminating with Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday 5 February.
Extensive NFL programming will continue with AFC and NFC Divisional Playoff games 14 and 15 January plus the Conference Championships on 22 January. The post-season NFL programming will conclude on Sunday 5 February when the Super Bowl, one of the world’s biggest sporting events, will be live across Europe on ESPN America.
The defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers enter the post-season as the odds-on favourites to repeat. The Packers finished 15-1 – the best record in the league, which clinched them home-field advantage. Last season, the Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, ending a 14 year title drought, as they became only the second six-seeded team to win the Super Bowl. The Packers are joined in the NFC Playoffs by the San Francisco 49ers, who cemented their return to the NFL’s post-season for the first time in eight years after clinching the NFC West title. The high-powered New Orleans Saints have also clinched a spot in the post-season with the second best record in the league and are joined in the NFC playoff spots by New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions.
Houston Texans were the first AFC team to clinch a spot in the Playoffs, despite having lost their top two quarterbacks and other key offensive and defensive players to injuries throughout the season. New England Patriots (led by superstar quarterback Tom Brady) went on to secure the best record in the AFC (13-3), and with it homefield advantage throughout the Playoffs. The stout Baltimore Ravens and perennial powerhouse, the defending AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, also made the postseason. The final two places were taken by Tim Tebow’s Denver Broncos and the AFC North’s second wildcard, Cincinnati Bengals.
As part of its extensive coverage of the NFL Playoffs, ESPN America will broadcast special editions of Sunday NFL Countdown in advance of the Wild Card games, Divisional Playoff games, and Conference Championship games, and will feature a special 4-hour edition of NFL Countdown leading into the Super Bowl (aired live at 16:00 p.m. and replayed at 20:30 p.m. CET). It will also bring fans ESPN’s award-winning studio program NFL Primetime where ESPN’s unmatched line-up of experts recap each day’s games in detail. Fans can also stay up to date with all the latest news and analysis from ESPN’s experts with NFL Live on weekdays at Midnight CET.
ESPN America’s SportsCenter, hosted by Michael Kim, will cover all the news from the NFL each weekday morning from 7 – 9 a.m. CET, along with all the other top sports news from the U.S.
On 29 January, in between the Conference Championship games and the Super Bowl, ESPN America will have live coverage of the NFL Pro Bowl from Honolulu, as many of the top players from each conference line up against each other in the annual all-star exhibition.
NFL PLAYOFFS – LIVE ON ESPN AMERICA
NFL Wild Card Playoffs
Saturday 7 January Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans 22.30 CET
Saturday 7 January Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints 02.00 CET
Sunday 8 January Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants 19.00 CET
Sunday 8 January Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos 22.30 CET
NFL Divisional Playoffs
Saturday 14 January Divisional 02:30 CET
Saturday 14 January Divisional 02:00 CET
Sunday 15 January Divisional 19:00 CET
Sunday 15 January Divisional 22:30 CET
NFL Conference Championships
Sunday 22 January Conference Championship 21:00 CET
Sunday 22 January Conference Championship 00:30 CET
NFL Pro Bowl
Sunday 29 January NFL Pro Bowl 01:00 CET
Super Bowl XLVI
Sunday 5 February Super Bowl XLVI 23:00 CET
ESPN’s award winning studio programs Sunday NFL Countdown, NFL Primetime and NFL Live will be televised throughout the playoffs. See local listings or go to www.espnamerica.com for exact schedules.