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NFL Kickoff Live

NFL Kickoff Live

  • Premiered: 
    September 5, 2002
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: ESPN
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Special, Annual
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Countdown special before first game of regular season for NFL 
  • Subject Matter: Sports
  • Tags: football (pro)

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Plot Synopsis

Each year since 2002, the National Football League (NFL) has started its season on the Thursday after Labor Day, with a single game preceded by a concert, ceremonies and other events to mark the beginning of a new football season. Starting in 2004, this game has featured the Super Bowl champion hosting the festivities, except in 2013 when the defending champion Baltimore Ravens played on the road because of a scheduling conflict at their home stadium. Kickoff is typically scheduled for 8:30pm ET/5:30pm PT, and the broadcast is immediately preceded by this pregame show, NFL KICKOFF (previously known as NFL OPENING KICKOFF and NFL KICKOFF LIVE), during which the show's hosts preview the upcoming season, discuss the night's game, and present highlights from the opening-day concert, which has featured: Bon Jovi, Enrique Iglesias, Eve & Alicia Keys (2002); Britney Spears, Aerosmith & Mary J. Blige (2003); Mary J. Blige, Destiny's Child, Elton John, Toby Keith & Lenny Kravitz (2004); Green Day, Carlos Santana, Michelle Branch, Kanye West, Maroon 5, Good Charlotte & Rihanna (2005); Diddy, Cassie & Rascal Flatts (2006); Kelly Clarkson, John Mellencamp & Faith Hill (2007); Keith Urban & Usher (2008); Tim McGraw & The Black Eyed Peas (2009); Dave Matthews Band & Taylor Swift (2010); Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum & Maroon 5 (2011); Mariah Carey, No Doubt & Cee Lo Green (2012); Danielle Bradbury & Keith Urban (2013); Pharrell Williams & Soundgarden (2014).
On Thursday, September 10, 2015 at 7:30pm ET/4:30pm PT, NBC premiered NFL KICKOFF 2015, a one-hour pregame show with festivities taking place in both New England, home of the Super Bowl XLIX champion Patriots, and the San Francisco Bay Area, host of Super Bowl 50. Celebrations begin in San Francisco with a free concert featuring multi-platinum singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding and San Francisco's own band Train live at Justin Herman Plaza across from the historic Ferry Building. Select portions of this concert air on NBC. The musical performances and activities in San Francisco are part of the year-long "On The Fifty" campaign dedicated to celebrating the Super Bowl and commemorating Super Bowl 50. The concert and pregame show lead into the NFL season opener between the Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA.


Other Titles

  • Previously known as (2004-2010): NFL Opening Kickoff
  • Since 2011 has been known as: NFL Kickoff