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ESPN plans to air interviews with Obama and McCain during its halftime show and will turn to analyst and longtime D.C. resident Tony Kornheiser for the occasional election-related quip. The cable network also will air short features about former NFL players who entered politics and another about the 2004 Illinois Senate race, which nearly pitted Obama against ESPN analyst and former Chicago Bears player and coach Mike Ditka.

“Everyone thought this would be a great thing, and in our conversations with the league, they thought it was a compelling idea,” said Leah LaPlaca, ESPN’s vice president of programming and acquisitions. “Thankfully, they were able to make that happen.”