NBC offers free prediction contest before its NFL game
By JOE REEDY AP Sports Writer
NBC Sports will offer a weekly free-to-play prediction game before its “Sunday Night Football” telecasts this season.
The Sunday Night 7 will feature seven questions on the game covering a series of matchups each week. Some of the questions will change but range from the game’s result to which team’s quarterback will pass for more yards and touchdowns. It also could include who scores the first and last touchdown, total touchdowns, total points or length of the longest TD or field goal.
The contest opens with Sunday’s game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots. All predictions must be made before the game, with cash prizes awarded each week.
NBC already offers prediction games for the English Premier League, golf and NASCAR through NBCSports.com and its NBC Sports Predictor app.
NBC Sports Washington had a contest during Redskins preseason telecasts where the questions were made during the game. It was an expansion of what the network did during Washington Wizards games.
NBC Sports Washington general manager Damon Phillips said the Wizards and Redskins games were an example of what he sees as a “gamification of television broadcasts.”
The NFL has historically been opposed to gambling on its games, but has embraced daily fantasy sports, in which fans wager on the player performances rather than the outcome of a game. Caesars Entertainment became the NFL’s first casino sponsor earlier this year, but the deal doesn’t include sports betting or fantasy football.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email that NBC had discussed the contest with the league.
AP Sports Writer Ben Nuckols in Washington contributed to this story.
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This story has been corrected to NFL predictions must be made before the game.
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