The National Football League (NFL) will kick off the 2012 season a day earlier than usual, on Wednesday September 5, to avoid a clash with President Barack Obama's planned speech to the Democratic National convention the following night.

Since 2002, the NFL has launched the new season with a Thursday night game hosted by the reigning Super Bowl champions.

The New York Giants will do the honors this year after beating the New England Patriots in last month's Super Bowl, against an as-yet unnamed opponent.

It will be the first time in more than 60 years the NFL has played a game on a Wednesday night.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; editing by Julian Linden)