ESPN College Football Thursday Primetime
|College Football Primetime|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||3 hours (approximate)|
|Original release||1997 – present|
ESPN College Football Primetime is a live game presentation of Division 1-A college football on ESPN. In the past, the presenting sponsor was Cooper Tires, but since the 2006 season, the current presenting sponsor is Applebee's. The game telecast airs every Thursday night at 7:45pm ET during the college football regular season. The game is preceded by a 30-minute segment with Adnan Virk, Joey Galloway and Jesse Palmer, all of whom also appear on the halftime report. This game telecast is also presented in high definition on ESPNHD.
The most visible voices of ESPN College Football Primetime over the years have been Mike Tirico, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso, but none remain in the booth, with Tirico and Herbstreit being promoted and Corso cutting back on his schedule. The current commentators are Dave Flemming on play-by-play and Laura Rutledge as field reporter along with a group of rotating ESPN analysts starting in 2017.
On the November 2, 2006, Thursday night telecast of #3 West Virginia Mountaineers' 44–34 loss to #5 Louisville Cardinals delivered an average of 4,916,000 households (based on a 5.3 rating), the biggest household audience ever for a Thursday night game on the network and the second-biggest college football audience ever for an ESPN game (any day or time slot). The previous Thursday high was an average of 4,097,000 homes for the Virginia Cavaliers 33–28 win over #2 ranked Florida State Seminoles, played exactly 11 years earlier November 2, 1995.
The most-watched game in ESPN history also occurred in 2006 as an average of 6,318,000 homes tuned into the September 4, 2006 Labor Day game between the Florida State Seminoles and the Miami Hurricanes.
- Erin Andrews: (field reporter, 2005–2009)
- Jill Arrington: (field reporter, 2004)
- Todd Blackledge (analyst, 1998)
- Jenn Brown: (field reporter, 2010–2011)
- Lee Corso: (analyst, 1999–2004)
- Rece Davis: (play-by-play, 2010–2014)
- Gary Danielson: (analyst 1994)
- Doug Flutie: (analyst, 2007)
- Chris Fowler: (play-by-play, 2006–2009)
- Mike Gottfried: (analyst, 1992–1998)
- Kaylee Hartung: (field reporter, 2015)
- Kirk Herbstreit: (analyst, 1999–2006)
- Craig James: (analyst, 2007–2011)
- Brad Nessler: (play-by-play, 1994)
- Jesse Palmer: (analyst, 2008–2016)
- Mike Patrick: (play-by-play, 1992–1997)
- David Pollack: (analyst, 2012–2015)
- Samantha Ponder: (field reporter, 2012–2014)
- Jerry Punch: (field reporter, 1992–2003)
- Joe Tessitore: (play-by-play, 2015)
- Mike Tirico: (play-by-play, 1997–2005)
- Starting Lineups: The starting lineups are presented during the first possession of each team's offense and defence.
- Impact Players: Following the starting lineups, Palmer and Pollack run down the top two or three impact players on each team's side of the ball.
- Halftime Report: Adnan Virk, Joey Galloway and Danny Kanell present the halftime report, which features analysis of the first half, highlights of earlier games and a look at other happenings in the sports world.
- SportsCenter In-game: This segment appears during various time in the game, when Adnan Virk gives up to the minute highlights when something big happens in another game.
|1997||Mike Tirico||Mike Gottfried or Todd Blackledge||Jerry Punch|
|1999||Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit|
|2005||Kirk Herbstreit||Erin Andrews|
|2007||Doug Flutie and Craig James|
|2008||Craig James and Jesse Palmer|
|2010||Rece Davis||Jenn Brown|
|2012||David Pollack and Jesse Palmer||Samantha Ponder|
|2015||Joe Tessitore||Kaylee Hartung|
|2016||Dave Flemming||Jesse Palmer||Laura Rutledge|
- College GameDay
- College Football Scoreboard
- College Football Final
- ESPN College Football Saturday Primetime
- ESPN2 College Football Saturday Primetime
- Saturday Night Football
- Video on YouTube
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2008-12-13.