The Associated Press has cut a deal to have its end-of-season NFL Awards unveiled on the NFL Network during Super Bowl week from North Texas. The biggie, the 2010 Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player award, will be announced Super Bowl Sunday, February 6th, on the NFL Network.
In addition to the MVP award, the entire slate of AP awards – Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, and Coach of the Year – will be announced on the NFL Network throughout Super Bowl week. At least one award will be unveiled each night at 7:00 pm ET on “NFL Total Access at the Super Bowl” from Monday, January 31st through Saturday, February 5th, with the MVP being announced on “NFL GameDay Morning at the Super Bowl” pre-game show Super Bowl Sunday. The actual game, of course, will air exclusively on Fox. Additionally, NFL.com will follow the AP and NFL Network’s simultaneous announcement with news articles, reaction and video on its front page.
Each award announcement will be distributed by the AP as the awards are simultaneously announced on NFL Network. The AP notes that it remains in full control of the award selection process, with NFL Network only serving as the broadcast medium.
“We’re elated to announce AP’s annual pro football honors on the NFL Network in the run up to the Super Bowl,” said Lou Ferrara, AP’s vice president and managing editor for sports. “This will provide a showcase for the awards after years of building a strong and credible voting system for picking the winners.”
“This is the first time the highly anticipated AP honors will be announced in prime time on national television,” said Lawrence Randall, director of programming, NFL Network. “NFL Network is a destination for fans during Super Bowl week and the AP award announcements are an exciting addition to our lineup.”
NFL Award announcement schedule on NFL Network during Super Bowl Week:
Monday, Jan. 31 Comeback Player of the Year
Tuesday, Feb. 1 Offensive Player of the Year
Wednesday, Feb. 2 Coach of the Year
Thursday, Feb. 3 Pepsi Rookie of the Year*
Friday, Feb. 4 Offensive & Defensive Rookie of the Year
Saturday, Feb. 5 Defensive Player of the Year
Sunday, Feb. 6 Most Valuable Player
*Pepsi Rookie of the Year is not a part of The Associated Press’ slate of NFL awards. However, the winner will be announced exclusively on NFL Network Thursday, Feb. 3 during Super Bowl week.
RBR-TVBR observation: The biggest sports day of the year is such a big event that everyone, it seems, tries to figure out a way to grab onto the Super Bowl in some fashion. Only one network actually gets to carry the big game – this year it’s Fox – but that doesn’t limit the creativity of everyone else in coming up with their own angle. In this case the league’s own NFL Network has come up with a claim to exclusivity which no doubt benefits the AP as well.