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NBC aims for 4th straight No. 1 season for 'Sunday Night Football'

Denver Broncos defensive end DeMarcus Ware (94) motivates

Denver Broncos defensive end DeMarcus Ware (94) motivates his teammates prior to an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey) Credit: AP / Jack Dempsey

Thanks to what appeared to be a Broncos blowout over the Colts in the making on Sunday night -- even though it did not turn out that way -- the ratings for NBC's "Sunday Night Football" opener will be less stellar than usual.

But remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint, and the Peacocks are hoping that come May, the show will be crowned the top-rated program in all of prime time TV for the fourth consecutive season -- a feat never accomplished even once by a sports show until NBC's current streak began.

"I think that's a great source of pride for all of us," NBC play-by-play man Al Michaels said. "The thing is, too, we're all sports fans. So even if we weren't a part of this, it's kind of cool to see a sports show as the No. 1-rated show in America.

"I don't know if it speaks to the lack of quality in terms of the rest of prime time or what, but I think more than anything else it just speaks to the National Football League, what it's become, how television covers it, and it's just a great source of pride for all of us to be a part of this thing."

Said producer Fred Gaudelli: "I know when I came over [to NBC] I was just hoping that it could attain the same type of prominence that 'Monday Night Football' had when it was on ABC, so I never dreamed that you were going to become the number one show, but it's huge.

"It's huge within our building," Gaudelli added. "As Al said, there's a tremendous amount of pride and obviously nothing lasts forever, but we want to try to prolong this as long as we can and it's something I think about almost daily."

New York Sports