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‘Countdown’ scores new timeslot

Olbermann to air before 'Sunday Night Football'

NEW YORK — Keith Olbermann’s “Countdown” is about to get a much bigger platform–a pre-game timeslot before NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”

MSNBC is programming a special edition of “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” which will air live on the network on Sunday at 7 pm EST before NBC’s pre-season matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers at 8 pm.

“I’m delighted we’re getting a chance to show off in a bigger storefront window,” Olbermann said.

MSNBC is looking to re-introduce former ESPN anchor Olbermann to sports fans as well as expose his cable news show to a wider aud of potential viewers.

“Countdown” averaged 721,000 viewers in July, an 88% increase from July of 2006, according to Nielsen Media Research. Show beats CNN at 8pm EST in July, but trails Fox News’ “O’Reilly Factor,” which averaged 1.9 million viewers.

NBC Sports is airing pre-season games on Sunday without a pre-game show, which created a window for the special edition of “Countdown” at 7 p.m.

Olbermann is set to join NBC’s “Football Night in America” analysis team of Bob Costas, Tiki Barber, Chris Collinsworth and Jerome Bettis, but only select members of that crew are working the halftime show of preseason games.

Olbermann will not appear on the halftime show for Sunday’s Eagles-Steelers game, allowing “Countdown” to be shot live at MSNBC studios in Secaucus, New Jersey.

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