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ESPN to Air Madden Nation

ESPN has teamed up with Electronic Arts to take viewers inside the world of Madden NFL 06 and its best players for the first video game reality series Madden Nation. Starting Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 11 and 11:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2, the eight-episode series (Tuesdays at 11 and 11:30 p.m.) will pit the nation’s 13 best Madden NFL 06 gamers—along with their real-life NFL player sponsors—against each other in elimination-style tournaments on a 17-day national bus tour. NFL players Shaun Alexander, Ben Roethlisberger, Dwight Freeney and others will be featured with their corresponding player representatives during each stop of the tour. The finale, which will be aired Tuesday, Dec. 27, was shot in New York’s Times Square on the ABC Super Sign. The winner claimed a $100,000 prize.

With scenarios designed to test the players’ skills, each tournament will make the gamers compete against each other and “free agents� they meet along the way. Tour stops include: Los Angeles; San Diego; Phoenix; Albuquerque, N.M.; Denver; Kansas City, Mo.; Minneapolis; Green Bay, Wis.; Chicago; Indianapolis; Canton, Ohio; Baltimore; Washington; Philadelphia and New York, and will take place, in part, in the NFL players’ homes. In all, the tour bus logged 4,646 miles.

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“Madden Nation showcases the EA SPORTS lifestyle, giving viewers an inside look into the daily life of the biggest Madden NFL football gamers and NFL players,� said Todd Sitrin, vice president of marketing, EA-Tiburon and EA SPORTS. “ESPN is the perfect outlet to show this unique pairing of the top Madden NFL football players.�