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September 3, 2015

President Obama vs. NFL Season Opener: NFL and NBC Tackle Scheduling Conflict

by Catherine Lawson, posted Sep 1st 2011 6:15AM
Barack ObamaUPDATE 09/02/11: It's been announced that President Obama will deliver his speech at 7PM ET on Thursday Sept. 8.

With all the lockout drama off the field over the summer, in recent days NFL fans have been sitting back and taking a few easy breaths as they await next week's season opener.

Now, however, comes news of a possible TV scheduling conflict: President Obama vs. football.

The president had planned to deliver a televised address on jobs and the economy to a joint session of Congress at 8PM ET on Sept. 7. However, that's when the Republican party is holding its televised Presidential Debate in Simi Valley, Calif.

After Speaker of the House John Boehner balked at Obama's request for an address on the 7th, the president yesterday agreed to move the speech to 8PM ET on the 8th. Unfortunately, that's led to a potential conflict with the Saints-Packers game on NBC, which kicks off at 8:30PM ET.

The White House is said to have been keen to avoid such a conflict, so what to do?

According to NBC's Pro Football Talk, the network and the NFL are already tackling the potential scheduling conflict. "We're aware of the situation and are communicating with the NFL," an NBC spokesman told PFT.

Meanwhile AP reports that White House officials say all details of the president's address have not yet been decided, and that staffers are still working out the exact time of the president's speech. It is possible he could deliver it slightly earlier than 8PM ET.

Alternatively, NBC could decide to opt out of showing Obama's speech, instead directing viewers to MSNBC and/or CNBC. A strategy that PFT estimates could deliver stratospheric ratings for the Saints-Packers game.

Last year's season opener was a ratings champ, posting the highest viewing figures for any broadcast show during the first half of the 2010-2011 NFL season. This season is due to kick off at Lambeau Field with a pregame show featuring Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum and Maroon 5.

The Republican Presidential Debate, moderated by Brian Williams, airs Wed. Sept. 7, 8PM ET on MSNBC.

New Orleans Saints vs. Green Bay Packers airs Thurs. Sept. 8, 8:30PM ET on NBC.

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Let MSNBC have the Obama speech. Only the diehard lefties believe anything he says anymore- that's his perfect audience.

September 01 2011 at 7:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I with the NFL on this one. Obama is just going to do whatever the GOP tells him to anyway.

September 01 2011 at 10:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They better not even think changing the NFL opener for another of Obama's speeches! One could easily watch or inform oneself of the entire contents of the speech on another channel OR after the game if one really cared. Just get the damn job, if he intends to address congress, giving it on national television is nothing more than propaganda. So far I've heard nothing of what's been previewed so far, than we haven't heard before. Leave my fracking Football alone!!!

September 01 2011 at 10:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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