Good news, football fans! You'll still be getting your weekly primetime fix of John Madden for the 2006 season. The colorful gridiron analyst will be moving to General Electric's (NYSE:GE) NBC network once it begins broadcasting Sunday night football next year.

After the programming shuffle was announced in April, with Disney's (NYSE:DIS) ABC handing its Monday night football franchise to ESPN and NBC assuming ESPN's Sunday night broadcasts, all eyes turned to Madden.

Even if you're not a fan of the sport, Madden is a refreshing blast of insight and personality. A prolific head coach before he began his extensive stint as a commentator, Madden has a presence so powerful that the top-selling football video game by Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) bears his name. Madden has already manned the control booth for games on ABC, News Corp.'s (NYSE:NWS) Fox, and Viacom's (NYSE:VIA) CBS. Even at 70, he's still the sharpest -- and most recognized -- name in football broadcasting.

The Madden deal shows that NBC means business. For years the network has struggled to fill the void in sports programming by striking revenue-sharing deals with the likes of arena football, the NHL, and even World Wrestling Entertainment's (NYSE:WWE) botched XFL experiment. That strategy may have served it just fine when its primetime sitcoms were top draws, but now that NBC is chasing the other major networks, it needs to make sure it treats its newly acquired football deal right.

With Madden, it's doing just that.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz will be rooting for his hometown Miami Dolphins this season even though he knows it will take time before the team returns to its winning ways. He owns shares in Disney. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.