As the number one sport in the country, the National Football League returns tonight to the delight of tens of millions of fans; many of whom are asking, what time and what television channel is the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings game on tonight?
The Saints are a bigger attraction than ever after upsetting the Indianapolis Colts and winning the Super Bowl for the still Katrina ravaged city of New Orleans. It was the first Super Bowl win in the franchise’s history. Led by one of the best quarterbacks in the game, and all around good guy, Drew Brees, the Saints are early favorites to go deep into the playoffs again this year.
For their part, the Minnesota Vikings are a big attraction as well, as the unretired (again) Brett Favre returns for his second season with the Vikings. Soon to be 41 years old, Favre is entering his twentieth NFL season. Love him or hate him, Brett Favre is a guaranteed Hall of Fame quarterback and would make all but a handful of teams instantly better.
The National Football League could draw big ratings even if they had two non-descript teams play. Whereas Major League Baseball needs to have big time franchises, such as the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs, play each other to draw big ratings on a national basis, the NFL is close to bulletproof when it comes to attracting people to their televisions. Much of this is due to the gambling and fantasy aspects of the game and also the fact that football is perfectly laid out for television; moreso than any other sport.
That said, the matchup tonight between the Vikings and the Saints is perfect for drawing people to the television. Even though both teams play in small to mid sized markets, the opening night game is sure to get ratings comparable to a big World Series baseball game.
The only question left for most, then, is what time the game is on and what channel it is on. Years back, there were only really three options for game times. The NFL played at 1:00PM and 4:00PM on Sundays and at 9:00PM on Monday nights. Now, though, they play quite a few games on Thursdays (every Thursday, in fact, once the baseball postseason is over) and Saturday and Saturday nights once the college football regular season is over. There is still a Monday night game, and ABC broadcasts a Sunday night game each week as well.
Tonight, though, the kickoff to the 2010 National Football season, featuring the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints, will be broadcast live at 8:30PM Eastern (7:30 central) on NBC.
Source: Glenn Salmon, “Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints NFL Season 2010 NBC TV Schedule”, flint.com