Ebersol joins NFLN’s schedule-release show

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The looming release of the 2013 NFL regular-season schedule contains an unexpected treat.

Thursday night’s three-hour special on NFL Network will include Dick Ebersol as a guest analyst.  A legendary figure in TV and the long-time chairman of NBC Sports, Ebersol will provide insight and thoughts regarding the prime time national television schedules.

It’s fitting, since it was Ebersol’s vision that in 2006 transformed the NFL’s weekly menu, eventually making Sunday Night Football the highest rated show on television.  Apart from the transformation of Monday Night Football to a cable property and Sunday Night Football to a broadcast network, the use of the “flex” device ensures that, as of Week 11, a game that looked good in April but that became not so good by November will be moved out of the evening slot, replaced by a more compelling contest.

Starting with the regular-season opener and continuing through Thanksgiving night and then the final game of the regular season, which won’t be determined until after Week 16, NBC will televise 19 regular-season games in prime time.