ESPN to rekindle 'NFL PrimeTime' with Chris Berman and Tom Jackson, but only on streaming

If you’re of an NFL fan of a certain age, you probably spent many a fall Sunday night in front of your television watching ESPN’s “NFL PrimeTime,” the beloved highlights show.

For those who don’t know or aren’t old enough, there was a time not so long ago where your geographic location dictated which games you got to see on Sunday - if you were a Bears fan living in San Diego, you were probably out of luck.

“NFL PrimeTime” helped fill that void, spinning viewers around the league with highlights from all of the day’s games.

It’s coming back. For a small fee.

Chris Berman, Tom Jackson return

ESPN announced on Friday that “NFL PrimeTime” is making its return, starting this Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

One catch: it will only be available on ESPN+, the network’s streaming service that carries a $4.99 a month subscription price.

The show will air live and also be available on demand, with highlights from the Sunday night and Monday night games added.

The original “NFL PrimeTime” ran from 1987-2005; given how long it’s been since the original show first aired, the target audience for its return might not be big users of streaming services, making the choice to put it on ESPN+ a bit of an odd one.

ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman
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ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1989: ESPN sportscaster Chris Berman on the air broadcasting circa 1989. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1989: ESPN sportscaster Chris Berman looks on in this portrait circa 1989. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO - DECEMBER 3: ESPN Anchorman Chris Berman looks on during a game with the New York Giants against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on December 3, 1990 in San Francisco, California. The 49ers won 7-3. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
26 Jun 1997: Sportcaster Chris Berman stands on the field before a game featuring the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel /Allsport
NEW YORK CITY - FEBRUARY 28: Sportscaster Chris Berman, athlete Jim Kelly, and NFL coach Jimmy Johnson attend the Second Annual ESPY Awards on February 28, 1994 at Paramount Theater, Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
DENVER, CO - JULY 6: Chris Berman and Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals during the All-Star Home Run Contest on July 6, 1998 at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images)
14th February 2000: ESPN football commentator Chris Berman (left) rests his shoulder on ESPN baseball analyst and National Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Morgan's shoulder at the eighth annual ESPY Awards, MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas. Berman is wearing a black tuxedo with a colorful bow tie and a matching cummerbund. Morgan is wearing a black suit and a white shirt with a Mandarin collar. (Photo by Scott Harrison/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
John Madden & Chris Berman during 2002 ESPY Awards - Press Room at The Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
BURBANK, CA - JUNE 6: (L to R) Sports broadcaster Chris Berman, actress Charlize Theron, talk show host Jay Leno and singer Michelle Branch appear on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' at the NBC Studios on June 6, 2003 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 2501 -- Pictured: (l-r) Sportscaster Chris Berman during an interview with host Jay Leno on June 6, 2003 -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - JULY 16: ESPN's Chris Berman speaks on stage during the 2003 ESPY Awards at the Kodak Theatre July 16, 2003 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
CANTON, OH - AUGUST 3: Pro Football Hall of Fame member (Class of 1998) Tommy McDonald (R) thumps chests with ESPN announcer Chris Berman during the 2003 NFL Hall of Fame Induction ceremony on August 3, 2003 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette, Monday, January 26, 2004: New England Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri talks with espn's Chris Berman during the Patriots Media Day at Reliant Stadium in Houston Texas Tuesday (Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
Chris Berman and family during 2004 ESPY Awards - Arrivals at Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage for ESPN)
Chris Berman during ESPN's 25th Anniversary Celebration - Inside at ESPN Zone - Times Square in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage for ESPN)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 10: Actor Bill Murray and ESPN sportscaster Chris Berman during the first round of the 2005 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at Spyglass Hill Golf Club in Pebble Beach, California on February 10, 2005. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
CANTON, OH - AUGUST 7: Master of ceremonies Chris Berman of ESPN television speaks to the crowd during the 2005 NFL Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony on August 7, 2005 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MAY 24: Chris Berman and John Cook look on during the FedEx St. Jude Classic Stanford Pro-Am on May 24, 2006 at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
ESPN commentators Tom Jackson and Chris Berman during the ESPN Monday Night Football game between the Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams in St. Louis, Missouri on December 11, 2006. The Bears won 42 - 27. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts is interviewed by Chris Berman of ESPN during Media Day prior to Super Bowl XLI at Dolphins Stadium in Miami, Florida on January 30, 2007. (Photo by A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - APRIL 28: Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks with ESPN's Chris Berman during the 2007 NFL Draft on April 28, 2007 at Radio City Music Hall in New York, New York.(Photo by Rob Tringali/Sportschrome/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - JULY 11: TV personality Chris Berman (L) and actor Daniel Sunjata pose for photos in the press room during the 2007 ESPY Awards at the Kodak Theatre on July 11, 2007 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Chris Berman watches his approach shot on 2 from the bunker during the 3M Celebrity Challenge Shoot-Out competition at the Pebble Beach Golf Links, a preliminary event preceding the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Golf Tournament in Pebble Beach, CA. (Photo by Daniel Harris/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)
CROMWELL, CT - JUNE 24: Broadcaster Chris Berman, left, and Boston Red Sox great Dwight Evans interact with a spectators during the Travelers Championship Celebrity Pro-Am at TPC River Highlands on June 24, 2009 in Cromwell, Connecticut. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 16: ESPN personality Chris Berman presents the 'Best Record-Breaking Performance' to NFL player Brett Favre onstage at the 2008 ESPY Awards held at NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE on July 16, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. The 2008 ESPYs will air on Sunday, July 20 at 9PM ET on ESPN. (Photo by Michael Caulfield/WireImage)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 18: Former NFL player Curtis Martin (L) and Chris Berman of ESPN talk at the IRTS Gold Metal Award Gala September 18, 2008 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 27: Punter Ben Graham of the Arizona Cardinals speaks with the Chris Berman of ESPN during the NFC Media Day at Raymond James Stadium on January 27, 2009 in Tampa, Florida. Ben Graham is the first Australian athlete to play in a SuperBowl. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 29: Manager Charlie Manuel of the Philadelphia Phillies talks to Chris Berman during batting pratice before Game Two of the 2009 MLB World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on October 29, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the Phillies 3-1. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Sportschrome/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 3: TV sports announcer Chris Berman reacts after hitting out of the bunker onto the 13th green during the Deutsche Bank Championship Pro-Am held at TPC Boston on September 3, 2009 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
HOLLYWOOD - MAY 24: ESPN's Chris Berman and his family attend the ceremony honoring him with a star on The Hollywood Walk Of Fame held on May 24, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
ANAHEIM, CA - July 12: David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox sitting in the dugout with ESPN's Chris Berman (L) during the 2010 State Farm Home Run Derby at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 12, 2010 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06: ESPN TV personalities Steve Young and Chris Berman on the field during Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 09: ESPN personality Chris Berman addresses the crowd during the State Farm Home Run Derby at Kauffman Stadium on July 9, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 28: (L-R): ESPN anchor Bob Ley, George Grant, ESPN anchor Chris Berman and Bill Rasmussen attend the Paley Prize Gala honoring ESPN's 35th anniversary presented by Roc Nation Sports on May 28, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Paley Center for Media)

Nicknames, banter and analysis

ESPN’s announcement mentions the back-and-forth banter between Berman, an icon at the network, and Jackson, a three-time Pro Bowl linebacker with the Denver Broncos in the 1970s and 80s.

It also mentions Berman’s nicknames - Ben “Winter” Coates, Eric “Sleeping with” Bieniemy - and Jackson’s analysis.

[Watch live NFL games all season long for free on the Yahoo Sports app]

The pair will be joined by “SportsCenter” anchor Scott Van Pelt and “Monday Night Football” play-by-play man Joe Tessitore, who will voice the highlights of the Sunday night and Monday night games.

“ESPN just celebrated its 40th birthday and the NFL is celebrating its 100th season,” Berman said in a statement. “What better way to commemorate both occasions than by bringing back ‘NFL PrimeTime’, now on ESPN+. I hope everyone is as excited about this as we are.”

“Chris Berman and Tom Jackson’s return to ‘NFL PrimeTime’ on ESPN+ combines one of ESPN’s most beloved franchises and signature voices with our most exciting new platform for fans,” ESPN+ general manager Russell Wolff said. “Chris and Tom are the best to ever call NFL highlights and now a whole new generation of fans will be able to watch them each week as ESPN+ showcases all the best plays and key moments from the week’s action in the National Football League.”

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