If you have been suffering from NFL withdrawal for the last seven months, then we have some good news for you - but maybe bad news for your relationship with your significant other. Digital cable and satellite customers in Israel will be able to see an unprecedented seven NFL games this weekend, although two televisions will be needed in order to watch all seven live.
ESPN Israel will be broadcasting four of the games. The local ESPN affiliate is showing Thursday night's regular season opener between the reigning champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Miami Dolphins (tape delay 4:30-7:30 p.m. Friday), and the Indianapolis Colts at New York Giants game on Sunday night (live at 3 a.m. Monday morning, rebroadcast 5-8 p.m. Monday). These games are part of the Sunday night package that is being broadcast on NBC in the US for the first time this season.
For true NFL fanatics, ESPN Israel has announced no less than nine-and-a-half hours of continuous live pregame and game broadcasts Monday night and Tuesday morning to wrap up NFL's "Kickoff 2006": NFL Primetime from 11 p.m.-1 a.m.; Monday Night Countdown from 1 a.m.-2 a.m.; Minnesota Vikings at Washington Redskins at 2 a.m.; and San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders at 5:15 a.m.
A big deal was made in the US regarding the fact that Monday Night Football moved from ABC to sister network ESPN, but the MNF package has been broadcast on the local ESPN affiliate since it arrived on our cable systems in 2000.
METV renewed its relationship with the NFL and has announced that it will broadcast two games on Sunday: Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs (live at 8 p.m.; pregame show at 7 p.m.) and Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (live at 11:15 p.m.).
Fox Sports Israel's schedule indicates a live broadcast of the Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers game at 8 p.m. Sunday night. However, it follows a live broadcast of a cricket one-day international between England and Pakistan. Local Falcons and Panthers fans will be hoping that match is over before the NFL game starts or gets rained out.