NBC announced Monday that the broadcast network will greatly expand the potential audience for MSNBC's far-left nightly ranter Keith Olbermann, airing a live edition of his Countdown show this Sunday night at 7pm EDT/PDT, 6pm CDT, before a pre-season NFL game. TVNewser on Monday highlighted an August 20 NBC press release:
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann will bring his unique take on the day's events, from politics to pop culture, to a primetime network audience this Sunday night. A special edition of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" will air on Sunday, August 26th at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT on NBC, leading into the network's "Sunday Night Football" pre-season NFL matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers, live at 8 p.m. ET. Olbermann is joining the network's "Football Night in America" studio team this season. The special edition of "Countdown" will be broadcast live from MSNBC's studios.
It sounds like a test to see how many viewers Olbermann's brand of left-wing harangues can capture in prime time on a real network, though maybe in his Sunday night broadcast debut he'll limit the politics and stick to his “Oddball” and celebrity segments. Given that the Football Night in America highlights show will air in the same time slot once the NFL season begins, we should at least be spared any further Sunday night airings of Countdown until after the NFL season ends.
The NBC.com schedule page still lists Dateline NBC as airing this Sunday night at 7pm EDT.
The press release trumpeted Countdown's second place finish weeknights at 8pm EDT on MSNBC:
"Countdown's" network debut comes on the heels of the program's stellar performance this year. According to Nielsen Media Research, the program attracted 721,000 viewers in July, up an incredible 88% over July 2006. "Countdown" continues to be the number two cable news program at 8 p.m. ET, beating CNN by a 20% margin for the year.