NFL gets Wednesday night start for 2012

Kid Rock preforms before the Green Bay Packers New Orleans Saints opening day game at Lambeau Field on September 8, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. UPI/Brian Kersey

The NFL, faced with a conflict involving presidential politics, announced Tuesday that the 2012 season-opening game, usually a Thursday night affair, will be held Wednesday, Sept. 5 instead.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to make his nomination acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in primetime on Sept. 6 in Charlotte.

The New York Giants will host the season opener in MetLife Stadium against an opponent to be announced at 8:30 pm ET on NBC. The NFL Kickoff 2012 pregame show will begin at 7:30 pm ET.

Last year, a speech by President Obama to a joint session of Congress forced a scramble by NBC to air the pregame show for the 2011 NFL Kickoff game of New Orleans at Green Bay on alternate cable networks.

NBCUniversal used four of its’ networks — Versus, USA, Syfy and G4 — to show the pregame festivities, while NFL Network showed the pregame show in full. The kickoff was not impacted by the speech. NBC later added a one-hour special to preview the season and show unseen musical performances from the Thursday pregame show on Saturday night prior to the Sunday openers across the league.

The NFL has not played a Wednesday game since Sept. 22, 1948 when the Los Angeles Rams played the Detroit Lions. The league has played a Thursday night opener since the 2002 season, usually hosted by the defending Super Bowl champion.

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