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The networks that broadcast the NFL were the first networks to create and air pre-game shows. CBS was the first to broadcast a sports pre-game show in 1964, when the network launched a 15-minute regional sports program that interviewed players and coaches and featured news and features about the league. The show aired immediately before games on CBS. The show originated in studio and live from the fields, and featured broadcaster Jack Buck. In 1967, the show grew to 30 minutes in length and in 1976, aired a new 90-minute "Super Bowl Special" before Super Bowl X. The show moved to two hours long in 1984 and featured 11 broadcasters, 13 producers and four directors.
FOX created its own pre-game show when it won the rights to broadcast NFC games in 1994. The network hired James Brown to host the show, Fox NFL Sunday, and brought on analysts such as Terry Bradshaw to lead the coverage. In 2006, Brown left the network to return to CBS and host their pre-game show, The NFL Today.
NBC launched its own version of a pre-game show - Grandstand - in 1975, and not only featured NFL programming, but other sporting events around the nation. The show led up to the NFL's 1 p.m. games but covered college football, golf, tennis and many other sports and topics. The network hired Jack Buck to host the show and the show didn't just preview that day's NFL games but did investigative pieces on a variety of topics.
Pre-game shows generally run for 30 minutes to one hour, though on special occasions (such as championship games), it is not uncommon to air longer pre-game shows (with the Super Bowl now typically airing one across the entire afternoon prior to its evening kickoff).
While most pre-game shows are done in a studio (sometimes with live shots to someone at the event itself), some shows travel to certain locations to broadcast. A notable example is ESPN's College GameDay pre-game show, which broadcasts live from various college campuses for football and basketball games.
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