The NFL on TNT was the weekly United States television broadcast by Turner Network Television (TNT) of Sunday evening National Football League (NFL) games from the 1990 through 1997 seasons.

Nfl on tnt logo
NFL on TNT logo


Sunday night games (1990–1997)

TNT televised NFL games from 1990 through the 1997 season. They broadcast Sunday night NFL games during the first half of the season[1], with ESPN taking over for the second half. TNT got a couple of Thursday night games to show, as ESPN did in the second half (TNT's Thursday night games were aired in place of Sunday night games that would have otherwise conflicted with the World Series). As has always been the case for cable NFL broadcasts, TNT's games were simulcast on regular over-the-air television stations in each participating team's local market so that households without cable television could still see the telecasts.

ESPN anchor Chris Berman referred to TNT's football programming by its original "Nitro" brand,[2] even after TNT abandoned that moniker. (This is not to be confused with the professional wrestling show called WCW Monday Nitro.)

It does not appear that TNT's coverage ever used the title Sunday Night Football, and indeed ESPN filed for a trademark on that title in 1996 (the trademark was later assigned to the NFL, allowing for its eventual use by NBC).[3]

The last game was aired on October 26, 1997. Fittingly, one of the teams involved was the Atlanta Falcons, based in the home city of Turner Broadcasting - Atlanta, Georgia (they played at their division rivals, the Carolina Panthers, located up Interstate 85 in Charlotte, North Carolina). Unlike the Braves, Hawks and Thrashers, however, Turner never owned the Falcons at any point in time (due to NFL ownership rules).

Studio shows

The network had a one-hour studio pregame show, titled The Stadium Show,[4] from 1990 to 1994. In 1995, this was reduced to a half-hour and retitled Pro Football Tonight,[5] running through 1997. Fred Hickman was one of the studio hosts during this time, and Mark May (now of ESPN) was one of the studio analysts before moving to the booth for the final season.

Fantasy Football legacy

The Sunday night TNT halftime show was the first major network NFL broadcast to utilize a player statistics "crawl" at the bottom of the screen. With Fantasy Football in its early stages of popularity, and the internet not being readily available to the general public, this was the only way for most fans to get updated Sunday player stats without waiting until the 11:00 PM or midnight sports highlight shows on CNN and ESPN. However, in the second half of the NFL season when ESPN would broadcast Sunday night games, Fantasy Football fans would be disappointed since ESPN did not provide the same detailed crawl during their halftime show.

Super Bowl Television

In addition to the Sunday night games, TNT also presented an annual special, Super Bowl Television. The program, which aired on Friday and Saturday night, mixed a preview of that season's game with entertainment segments. Ernie Johnson hosted the show from the Super Bowl host city.

The end of TNT's coverage

TNT lost their rights to the NFL following the 1997 season after ESPN chose to bid on the entire regular season package beginning in 1998. In the wake of the loss of NFL rights, TNT began negotiations with NBC Sports to start a new football league; TNT eventually backed out of the proposal.[6] (NBC's proposed league eventually became the XFL.) TNT would not air professional football again until signing on as a broadcast partner with the Alliance of American Football in 2019.[7]


In the booth


Color commentary

Sideline reporters





  1. ^ Fang, Ken (March 5, 2019). "A look at Turner Sports' flirtations with the National Football League". Awful Announcing.
  2. ^ TNT "Sunday Nitro" promo - 1990 on YouTube
  3. ^ USPTO Trademark Assignment Search for no. 75045443. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
  4. ^ TNT "Silver Bullet Stadium Show" clip with Jerry Jones preseason interview - 1991 on YouTube
  5. ^ Larry, Stewart (21 July 1995). "ABC Getting a Major Chance With British Open Coverage". Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ HighBeam
  7. ^ "Alliance partners with top media companies for inaugural season". Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  8. ^ 1990 Raiders at Bills - 1 on YouTube
  9. ^ 1994 Browns at Oilers - 1 of 4 on YouTube

External links

Preceded by
(2nd half of season only)
NFL Sunday Night Football broadcaster (1st half of season)
with ESPN (2nd half of season)

Succeeded by
(entire season)
1996 Indianapolis Colts season

The 1996 Indianapolis Colts season was the 44th season for the team in the National Football League and 13th in Indianapolis. The Indianapolis Colts finished the National Football League's 1996 season with a record of 9 wins and 7 losses, and finished third in the AFC East division.

On October 13, the Colts hosted the newly established Baltimore Ravens, based in the Colts' previous city. The Colts won 26–21. This game has the distinction of being the first NFL on TNT broadcast after TNT's parent Turner Broadcasting System completed its merger with Time Warner only 3 days earlier.

The season saw the Colts draft Marvin Harrison. Harrison would go on to become a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, after spending his entire career as a Colt. Harrison was named to Pro Bowl several times and later helped the Colts win a Super Bowl in 2006. He continued to play for the team until 2008 and retired during the 2009 season.

College Football on TBS

College Football on TBS was the presentation of the Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) cable channel's regular season college football television package.

Cuppa Coffee Studios

Cuppa Coffee Studios (a.k.a. Cuppa Coffee Animation) is an animation studio in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Cuppa Coffee was founded by Adam Shaheen in 1992. It specializes in both stop-motion animation and 2D animation.Cuppa Coffee Studios has produced for networks around the globe including Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, CBC, HBO, ABC, MTV, The N, Cartoon Network and MuchMusic, among others.

Cuppa Coffee Studios has won over 200 international awards in animation, such as the Pucinella Award for Best Special in 2006 and the Prix D'honeur at Annecy.

The Studio is widely recognized as the largest Stop Motion Animation Studio in the world specializing in TV production.

Cuppa Coffee also produces 2-D Flash Animation (Ugly Americans) (Bruno) (Bruno and the Banana Bunch). The studio is working with New York-based Archetypeme producing stop-motion music videos. Currently the studio is developing a feature film with David Duchovny.

Don McGuire

Don McGuire is a television sports executive. He was executive producer at Turner Sports' TBS and TNT, Raycom Sports, and The Golf Channel.

He has won multiple Emmy, Cine and CableAce awards and was executive producer for the startup of Raycom Sports in 1983 and oversaw the fast growth of Ted Turner's sports TV operations from 1987 to 1995 as Executive Producer and then Senior VP. He served as executive producer at the Golf Channel from 1999 to 2000 and was senior vice president for programming and production at the Golf Channel when the channel became the exclusive cable outlet for the LPGA and PGA Tour.

Gary Bender

Gary Nedrow Bender (born September 1, 1940) is a retired American sportscaster and 2008 inductee into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame. He officially retired, April 13, 2011, from Fox Sports Arizona network after 18 years calling the NBA's Phoenix Suns games.

List of programs broadcast by TNT (U.S. TV network)

This is a list of programs broadcast by Turner Broadcasting Systems' TNT network.

Mark May

Mark Eric May (born November 2, 1959) is a former American college and professional football player who was an offensive lineman in the National Football League (NFL) for 13 seasons during the 1980s and 1990s. May played college football for the University of Pittsburgh and earned All-American honors. He was selected in the first round of the 1981 NFL Draft, and played professionally for the Washington Redskins, San Diego Chargers, and Phoenix Cardinals. He was laid off by ESPN on April 28, 2017 after serving with the organization for 16 years.

Sunday Night Football

Sunday Night Football may refer to:

ESPN Sunday Night Football, the Sunday night broadcast of American NFL games from 1987–2005 by ESPN

NBC Sunday Night Football, the Sunday night broadcast of American NFL games by NBC since 2006

NFL on TNT, the Sunday night broadcast of American NFL games from 1990–1997 by TNT

Sunday Night Football radio coverage on Westwood One

Sunday Night Football (Australian TV program), an Australian football sports broadcast television program that aired on the Seven Network from 1991–2000 and again in 2014

Sunday Night Football (UK TV programme), also known as European Football Show, a British football-dedicated programme on BT Sport

TNT (U.S. TV network)

TNT (originally an abbreviation for Turner Network Television) is an American pay television network that is owned by WarnerMedia Entertainment, a unit of AT&T's WarnerMedia. When TNT launched in October 1988, the channel's original purpose was to air classic films and television series to which Turner Broadcasting maintained spillover rights through its sister channel SuperStation TBS (now simply TBS); however, since June 2001, its programming consists of television series and feature films with a focus on drama, along with some sports (including NBA games, the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament, UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Europa League Final and All Elite Wrestling).

As of September 2018, TNT was received by approximately 89.573 million households that subscribe to a pay television service throughout the United States.

TNT Olympic broadcasts

The American cable channel TNT served as cable partner for the CBS broadcast television network during the 1992, 1994, and 1998 Winter Olympic Games, supplementing Olympics coverage in the United States.

TNT Sunday Night Football results (1990–1997)

This is a list of results of National Football League games played on Turner Network Television (TNT). From 1990–1997, TNT broadcast NFL games on Sunday nights for the first half of the regular season (or nine games a year). Meanwhile, ESPN would pick things up for the second half of the season. TNT also got a couple of Thursday night games to show, which were aired in place of Sunday night games (that would have otherwise conflicted with the World Series; coincidentally, the 1991, 1992, 1995, and 1996 editions of the World Series featured the Turner-owned Atlanta Braves).

Following the 1997 season, ESPN would broadcast Sunday night NFL games for the whole season. This particular arrangement between ESPN and the National Football League would continue until the end of the 2005 season. Since that time, NBC (who last broadcast NFL games the same year that TNT last broadcast them, 1997) has been the television home of Sunday night games. Meanwhile, ESPN replaced ABC as the broadcaster of Monday night games in 2006.

The Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals were the only team to appear on TNT every year of the run, as they had their home opener (and one additional game in 1994) aired on the network each year.

Note: The winning teams' names are in bold.

Turner Sports

Turner Sports (TS) is the subsidiary of AT&T's WarnerMedia responsible for sports broadcasts on channels including TBS, TNT, AT&T SportsNet, TruTV, and for operating the digital media outlets,, and, as well as Bleacher Report, and its streaming service, B/R Live. Turner Sports also operates NBA TV on behalf of the NBA.

In August 2012, Turner Sports bought the sports news website Bleacher Report for an estimated $200 million.In March 2018, Turner Sports announced to launch B/R Live, a subscription video streaming service, featuring live broadcasts of several sports events.Turner also owned WPCH-TV, the former WTBS, which was the longtime home of Atlanta Braves Baseball. This relationship ended after the 2013 season. WPCH-TV was itself sold to Meredith Corporation in 2017.

Following AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner in 2018, it was announced in March 2019 that the Turner Broadcasting System would be dissolved, and its assets dispersed into Warner Bros. and two new units. Turner Sports will be combined with CNN and AT&T SportsNet into a new division known as WarnerMedia News & Sports, led by CNN president Jeff Zucker.

Turner Sports broadcast properties (including TNT, TBS, TruTV and WPCH-TV)
American football:
Auto racing:
Beach volleyball:
Golf (TNT):
Olympics (TNT):
Tennis (TNT):
Related programs
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Monday Night
Sunday Night
Pregame TV
NFL Network
NFL Films
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Other TV programs
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