Thursday Night Football

Thursday Night Football (often abbreviated as TNF, branded as Thursday Night Football presented by Bud Light for sponsorship reasons) is the branding used for broadcasts of National Football League (NFL) games that broadcast primarily on Thursday nights. Most of the games kick off at 8:20 p.m. Eastern Time, but games in the package also air occasionally on Saturdays in the later portion of the season, as well as a single Sunday morning game from London in the NFL International Series (these games have been branded since 2017 as NFL Network Special).

Debuting on November 23, 2006, the telecasts were originally part of NFL Network's Run to the Playoffs package, which consisted of eight total games broadcast on Thursday and Saturday nights (five on Thursdays, and three on Saturdays, originally branded as Saturday Night Football) during the latter portion of the season. Since 2012, the TNF package has begun during the second week of the NFL season; the NFL Kickoff Game and the NFL on Thanksgiving are both broadcast as part of NBC Sports' Sunday Night Football contract and are not included in Thursday Night Football, although the Thanksgiving primetime game was previously part of the package from 2006 until 2011.

At its launch, the package proved highly controversial mainly due to the relative unavailability of NFL Network at the time; the league used the games as leverage to encourage television providers to carry NFL Network on their basic service tiers, rather than in premium, sports-oriented packages that required subscribers to pay a higher fee; although, as with all other national cable telecasts of NFL games, the league's own regulations require the games to be syndicated to over-the-air television stations in the local markets of the teams. These issues were magnified in 2007, when a game that saw the New England Patriots close out a perfect regular season was simulcast nationally on both CBS and NBC, in addition to NFL Network and the local stations that the game was sold to, following concerns from politicians and other critics.

In 2014, the NFL shifted the package to a new model to increase its prominence. The entire TNF package would be produced by a separate rightsholder, who would hold rights to simulcast a portion of the package on their respective network. CBS was the first rightsholder under this model, airing nine games on broadcast television, and producing the remainder of the package to air exclusively on NFL Network to satisfy its carriage agreements. The package was also extended to Week 16 of the season, and included a new Saturday doubleheader split between CBS and NFL Network. On January 18, 2015, CBS and NFL Network extended the same arrangement for a second season. In the 2016 and 2017, the NFL continued with a similar arrangement, but adding NBC as a second rightsholder alongside CBS, with each network airing five games on broadcast television each.

In 2018, the NFL reached a long-term deal with Fox to hold the rights through 2022.

The games are broadcast on radio via Westwood One, which syndicates the broadcasts to its partner radio stations around the United States. In 2016, the NFL also began to sub-license digital streaming rights to the broadcast TV portion of the package to third-parties, beginning with Twitter in 2016, and Amazon Prime Video in 2017, which Amazon and the NFL renewed their contract through 2019, with Twitch set to air some games in 2018.

Thursday Night Football
Thursday Night Football (NFL Network) logo
The program logo for Thursday Night Football
Also known asTNF
Run to the Playoffs
Thursday Night Football on NFL Network
Fox Thursday Night Football
GenreNFL football telecasts
Presented byJoe Buck
Troy Aikman
Erin Andrews
Kristina Pink
Mike Pereira
Hannah Storm (Prime Video)
Andrea Kremer (Prime Video)
Michael Strahan
Terry Bradshaw
Howie Long
Jay Glazer
Colleen Wolfe
Steve Mariucci
Michael Irvin
Theme music composerScott Schreer
Opening themeFox NFL theme (Fox games)
NFL GameDay theme (NFL Network games/pregame and postgame coverage)
Ending themeSame as open
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons13 (on NFL Network)
1 (on Fox)
2 (on Prime Video)
No. of episodes57 (games)
Production location(s)Various NFL stadiums
Fox News Channel studios, New York City
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time180 minutes or until game ends (inc. adverts)
Production company(s)National Football League
NFL Network (2006–present)
Fox Sports (2018–present)
Original networkNFL Network (2006–present)
Fox (2018–present)
Fox Deportes (2018–present; Spanish simulcast)
Prime Video (2017–present; select games)
Twitch (2018–present; select games)
Picture format480i (SDTV),
720p/1080i (HDTV)
Original releaseNovember 23, 2006 –
Related showsFox NFL
Fox NFL Sunday
Fox NFL Kickoff
External links


Early history

The NFL Network's coverage was not the first time that NFL games were covered on Thursday or Saturday. Prior to the new contract, ESPN carried a handful of sporadic Thursday night games (usually those displaced from Sunday night) and the broadcast networks used to air several national games on Saturday afternoons in mid-to-late December after the college football regular season ended. Incidentally, the only reason the league is even allowed to televise football games on Saturday night stems from a legal loophole: the league's antitrust exemption, the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961, was written when the NFL regular season ended in mid-December, and as such, it contains specific language that prohibits televising NFL games in most markets on Friday nights and all day on Saturdays between the second week of September and the second week of December, to protect high school and college football. Since most high school and college seasons have ended by mid-December, other than bowl games, there has been little desire to close this loophole, even though the regular season has expanded well beyond mid-December since the law's passage.

In 2005, when the NFL negotiated a new set of television contracts, Comcast-owned OLN offered to pay $450 million for an eight-year contract to carry NFL prime time games. In exchange, Comcast planned to add NFL Network to its digital cable lineup. The channel was added, but NFL Network decided to air the games itself, foregoing a rights fee.[1] The other television deals generated $3.735 billion per year over an eight-year period for CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and DirecTV (owner of the out-of-market sports package NFL Sunday Ticket).

Thursday Night Football debuted on November 23, 2006, with the Kansas City Chiefs handing the visiting Denver Broncos a 19–10 Thanksgiving defeat. Each of the game broadcasts were titled either Thursday Night Football or Saturday Night Football, depending on the night on which it aired. This format carried over to the 2007 season.

Starting in 2008, NFL Network eliminated all but one of the Saturday night games and started their Thursday night package three weeks earlier. This was done to accommodate the earlier schedule and the league's antitrust exemption that prohibits Saturday games from being held for most of the season. In the following season, all references to Saturday Night Football were dropped, and any games that are not played on Thursday (such as in 2016, two Christmas weekend games and an NFL International Series game) have since been branded as "special editions" of Thursday Night Football, and later Thursday Night Special or NFL Network Special. The Thanksgiving matchup was moved from NFL Network to NBC's Sunday Night Football package as part of the new broadcast contract after the 2011 season. During Super Bowl week in 2012, it was announced that the Thursday Night Football package would expand from eight to 13 games and air on NFL Network, again soliciting and rejecting offers from Turner Sports and Comcast.

2014–2015: partnership with CBS Sports

In January 2014, it was reported that the NFL was planning to sub-license a package of up to eight Thursday Night Football games to another broadcaster for the 2014 NFL season. The league had negotiated with its existing broadcast partners, along with Turner Sports. These eight games were to be simulcast by NFL Network, and reports indicated that ESPN planned to place the games on ABC in the event it won the rights, bringing the NFL back to the network for the first time since Super Bowl XL and the move of Monday Night Football to ESPN in 2006.[2][3][4][5] The remaining games would remain exclusive to NFL Network, in order to satisfy carriage agreements with television providers guaranteeing a minimum number of games to air exclusively on the channel.[6] The decision came as the league wished to heighten the profile of its Thursday night games, which had suffered from relatively lower viewership and advertising revenue in comparison to other games.[7]

On February 5, 2014, the NFL announced that CBS had acquired the partial rights to Thursday Night Football for the 2014 season. Under the agreement, all of the Thursday Night Football telecasts would be produced by CBS Sports and called by the network's primary announcing team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. The first eight games of the season were simulcast nationally on NFL Network and CBS; the remaining games in the package only aired nationally on NFL Network, but per league broadcast policies, were simulcast on local stations in the participating teams' markets. CBS affiliates were given right of first refusal to air the local simulcast before it is offered to another station (as had occurred in Cincinnati, Ohio where the market's NBC affiliate WLWT aired a game between the Bengals and the Cleveland Browns instead of CBS affiliate WKRC-TV). A Saturday doubleheader was also added on Week 16: NFL Network aired the early game, while CBS aired the second, prime time game.[8][9][10][11][12]

The NFL considered CBS's bid to be the most attractive, owing to the network's overall ratings stature (CBS had been the highest-rated broadcast network in the U.S. since the 2005-06 television season), a commitment to aggressively promote the Thursday games across its properties, and its plans to utilize CBS Sports' top NFL talent and production staff across all of the games in the package to ensure a major improvement in quality over the previous, in-house productions.[7] CBS staff also cited experience with its joint coverage of the NCAA Men's basketball tournament with Turner Sports as an advantage in its collaboration with NFL Network staff, as talent from both networks collaborate on pre-game, halftime and post-game coverage. During the games, a distinct graphics package co-branded with both CBS and NFL Network logos is used, certain players on each team wear microphones, and 4K cameras are used to allow zoom-in shots during instant replays.[11][13]

With the move of selected games to CBS, media executives expected more major match-ups to appear on Thursday Night Football than in previous years in order to attract better viewership; in the past, Thursday Night Football had been criticized for often featuring games between lesser and poorer-performing teams.[14][14][15][15] CBS and the NFL unveiled the games scheduled for Thursday Night Football in April 2014; CBS's slate of games featured a number of major divisional rivalries, including New York Giants–Washington, Green Bay–Minnesota, and its opening game on September 11, 2014, featuring the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens.[10][16]

In the wake of the controversy surrounding Ravens player Ray Rice (who had been removed from the team and suspended from the NFL earlier in the week following the discovery of footage showing the player physically assaulting his wife, Janay, who was engaged to Rice at the time the security camera footage was recorded), changes were made to pre-game coverage on the first game in order to accommodate additional interviews and discussion related to the incident. Among these changes were the removal of an introductory segment featuring Rihanna (who was similarly assaulted by fellow performer Chris Brown in 2009) performing her song "Run This Town".[17][18] Following complaints by Rihanna on Twitter regarding the removal, the song was pulled entirely from future broadcasts.[19]

The rights were negotiated under a one-year contract valued at $275 million; on January 18, 2015, the NFL announced that it would renew the arrangement with CBS for the 2015 season, with its value increasing to around $300 million.[20][7][21]

2016–2017: CBS and NBC

In November 2015, The Hollywood Reporter reported that in response to the success of the package under CBS, the NFL was planning to negotiate a long-term contract for Thursday Night Football, with CBS, Fox, NBC, and Turner Sports showing interest.[21] The New York Post reported that this deal would also include the sale of a stake in NFL Network itself.[6]

On December 16, 2015, it was reported that the NFL was shopping the Thursday Night Football package as a one-year deal with an option for a second year, similarly to the current arrangement with CBS; the league also requested that bidders outline goals for "growing" NFL Network. The league was also reportedly interested in selling non-exclusive digital rights to simulcast the games to another partner, such as, Apple Inc., Google, or Yahoo! (which exclusively streamed an International Series as part of a trial during the 2015 season, but would shut down its original video content service in January 2016).[22] In January 2016, it was reported that the NFL was considering splitting the Thursday Night Football package across multiple broadcasters in tandem with the possibility of expanding the overall package to 17 games. It was also reported that ESPN and Turner Sports were not interested in the package due to its short-term nature, and that Fox was attempting to outbid CBS.[23][24]

On February 1, 2016, the NFL announced that Thursday Night Football would be shared between CBS, NBC, and NFL Network for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. CBS and NBC would each air five games (resulting in a schedule of 10 games on broadcast TV in comparison to 8 under the previous deal), followed by an additional eight games exclusively on NFL Network to satisfy NFL Network's retransmission consent contracts with cable providers; the eight NFL Network-exclusive games included six Thursday contests, a Sunday morning International Series contest, and a Christmas day game. As with the previous contract, all games will be simulcast by NFL Network. Commissioner Roger Goodell stated that the league was "thrilled to add NBC to the Thursday Night Football mix, a trusted partner with a proven track record of success broadcasting NFL football in primetime, and look forward to expanding with a digital partner for what will be a unique tri-cast on broadcast, cable and digital platforms."[25][26] On April 5, 2016, it was revealed that Twitter had acquired non-exclusive worldwide digital streaming rights to the 10 broadcast television TNF games. The collaboration will also include streaming content on Twitter's Periscope service, such as behind the scenes access.[27]

Rogers Media, who owns television rights to the Thursday Night Football package in Canada through the end of the 2016 season but has not yet acquired digital rights (the majority of the NFL's media rights in Canada are owned by Rogers's rival, Bell Media), successfully forced Twitter to block the game streams in that country, overriding the league's insistence that the free stream be global.[28][29] Due to the streaming deal, over-the-top television providers PlayStation Vue and Sling TV are also required to black out the simulcast of the games on NFL Network.[30]

The first game produced by NBC Sports was broadcast exclusively on NFL Network on November 3, 2016, while the first game simulcast nationally on NBC aired on November 17. A cappella group Pentatonix recorded a reworked version of their song "Sing" ("Weekend Go") to serve as the opening theme song for NBC's Thursday Night Football telecasts;[31][32] NBC also commissioned new instrumental theme music by Jimmy Greco, "Can't Hold Us Down", which was performed by members of the orchestra from the Broadway musical Hamilton.[33] Both were retained for NBC's games in 2017.

On April 4, 2017, it was announced that had acquired non-exclusive streaming rights to the 10 broadcast television games for the 2017 season over their Amazon Prime Video service, under a deal valued at $50 million, a five-fold increase over the $10 million paid by Twitter. The streams will be exclusive to paid Prime subscribers.[34] The deal includes $30 million worth of promotion.[35] Amazon planned several special features for its inaugural game, including broadcasting alternate feeds with Spanish, Portuguese and British English commentary (the last of which being intended for those unfamiliar with the rules and terminology of American football), and a pre-show hosted by Tiki Barber and Curtis Stone that featured presentations of NFL merchandise available for purchase on Amazon.[36][37][38]

The November 16, 2017 telecast between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans was the first NFL broadcast to intentionally use the Skycam as its primary camera angle, as opposed to the usual sideline camera that has been used since telecasts of NFL games began in 1939. NBC Sports had previously switched to a skycam-only presentation for portions of two Sunday night games earlier that season because of fog and smoke (and, sixteen years prior, during its coverage of the XFL); positive reaction to the impromptu change prompted NBC to experiment with using the strategy for the full game.[39] The Skycam Angle was also used for the December 14 telecast between the Denver Broncos and the Indianapolis Colts.

2018–2022: Fox

In early January 2018, Bloomberg reported that ABC/ESPN and Fox Sports had both made bids for the next Thursday Night Football package. Both Fox and Fox Sports 1 were named as potential outlets for the package in the Fox Sports bid, which was intended to showcase Fox's continued commitment to sports after the proposed sale of its entertainment businesses to ESPN's majority-owner The Walt Disney Company (which will exclude the Fox network itself and Fox Sports' national operations, such as FS1, among other assets). CBS and NBC were also considering renewing their existing contracts, but had requested a lower rights fee to compensate for the decreasing viewership of the NFL (TNF had been cited as one factor in the downturn, due to a perceived oversaturation of nationally-televised games). It was also reported that the NFL would also allow digital companies to make bids for exclusive rights to the Thursday Night Football package which forego a television partner entirely, unlike the previous non-exclusive deals with Twitter and Amazon.[40]

On January 30, 2018, it was reported by multiple sources that Fox had won the package.[41][42] The next day, the NFL officially announced that Fox had acquired the broadcast television rights to the Thursday Night Football package under a five-year deal lasting from 2018 through 2022 (which is aligned with the conclusion of the NFL's other television deals). The Fox network will air 11 games per season in simulcast with NFL Network. ESPN reported that Fox would be paying around $60 million per game—an increase over the estimated $45 million per game paid by CBS and NBC under the previous contract, totaling an estimated $660 million per season.[43][44]

Amazon renewed its digital rights for the 2018 and 2019 season; in contrast to 2017 in which the games required an Amazon Prime subscription, for 2018 and 2019, Amazon also carries game coverage for free on its live streaming platform Twitch.[45] Alongside the main Fox feed, British English, and Spanish options, the Amazon Prime streams offer an alternate commentary feed featuring ESPN anchor Hannah Storm and NFL Network chief correspondent Andrea Kremer—the first all-female commentary team in NFL history.[46] The Twitch streams offer access to the service's standard chat room (along with special football-themed emotes), an interactive extension, and co-streams featuring prominent personalities, while streams on Amazon Fire devices offer integration with the X-Ray feature to access statistics and other content.[47]

Fox employs 45 cameras, a dual-skycam setup, triple-lens pylon cameras, and will leverage Intel True View replay systems where available. Resources are also being shared with Fox News Channel in New York City, including use of its Studio F for studio segments, as well as an outdoor plaza setup on Sixth Avenue with a scaled football field and an audience.[48][49] A new insert graphics package was produced by Drive Studio, inspired by Times Square to reflect its New York City-based studio programming (unlike previous TNF broadcasters, Fox utilizes the same in-game presentation and graphics as it does during all other games it televises).[50]


Game announcers

The initial NFL Network team consisted of HBO Sports' Bryant Gumbel as play-by-play announcer, NBC Sports' Cris Collinsworth as the color commentator for the Thursday telecasts, and Dick Vermeil replacing Collinsworth for Saturday telecasts. In 2007, Collinsworth replaced Vermeil alongside Gumbel for all games.

Gumbel left the network after the 2007 season and his then-HBO colleague Bob Papa, who is also the radio voice of the New York Giants, was brought in to replace him. Collinsworth stayed on until the end of the 2008 season, then left to take over for the retiring John Madden as lead analyst on NBC Sunday Night Football. NFL Network replaced him with Matt Millen, who returned to broadcasting in 2009, and then added former ESPN analyst Joe Theismann for 2010.

For 2011, then ESPN now CBS play-by-play man Brad Nessler took over the Thursday night broadcast. He was joined by NFL Network draft analyst and NBC Notre Dame color man Mike Mayock, and the pairing spent three seasons calling games.

As a result of CBS taking over production responsibilities for the Thursday Night Football broadcasts, its number one broadcast team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms took over the broadcast booth.[12] With NBC adding games in 2016, Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth, the broadcast team of NBC Sunday Night Football, were required under league contract to do the same. NBC had initially hired former Monday Night Football play-by-play man Mike Tirico for Thursdays before the league nixed the idea of any separate broadcast teams for Sunday and Thursday nights. Tirico would eventually call three Sunday Night Football games, including the Thanksgiving night game which is in the SNF package, in order for NBC to allow Michaels over a week's rest before the end of the season.[26][51] Tirico would also call the December 22, 2016 TNF game alongside Collinsworth, as well as two NBC-produced Thursday Night Special game broadcasts on December 18 and Christmas Day, respectively, both alongside former USFL and NFL quarterback Doug Flutie, who serves as the analyst for NBC's college football coverage as well.[52] On May 31, 2017, it was announced that Mike Tirico would replace Al Michaels full-time for NBC's Thursday Night Football games.[53] For 2017, Kurt Warner would similarly fill in for Collinsworth on two non-Thursday games.[54]

For 2017, CBS hired Tony Romo as its lead color commentator. Numerous complications needed to be resolved, namely Romo's reluctance to cover both Sunday and Thursday nights as required under the Thursday Night Football contract,[55] and the fact that Simms remains under contract with CBS through the next several years.[56] However, the network confirmed via press release that Romo's duties would include Sunday and Thursday games.[57]

With TNF moving to Fox in 2018, the network announced that its top team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will call the games this year. The duo will be joined by Erin Andrews, who normally works with Buck and Aikman on Sundays, and Kristina Pink, who normally works with the #3 team for Fox, which consists of Kenny Albert, son of former NFL commentator Marv Albert, and Super Bowl Champion Ronde Barber, and Mike Pereira, who is one of two rule analysts for Fox.

On October 14th, 2018, the NFL announced via press release, that the NFL GameDay Morning studio team of Rich Eisen, Steve Mariucci, Kurt Warner, and Michael Irvin, would be calling the Eagles-Jaguars London Game on October 28th. They will be joined by Melissa Stark, who is making her first appearance as a sideline reporter since ABC’s coverage of Super Bowl XXXVII, and Peter Schrager, from Fox Sports, and NFL Network’s Good Morning Football.

Pregame, halftime and postgame coverage

Each game telecast is preceded on NFL Network by NFL GameDay Kickoff, which broadcasts live from the site of each game and currently features Colleen Wolfe as its host, with Steve Mariucci, Michael Irvin and either Kurt Warner or other NFL Network colleagues as analysts. The show generally begins two hours before game time (6:00 p.m. Eastern Time).

The game proper is preceded by a pre-game show; CBS games were preceded by Thursday Night Kickoff, hosted by James Brown, Bill Cowher, and Deion Sanders. NBC games were preceded by Football Night in America (renamed in reference of the host city of the game, such as Football Night in Tampa), hosted by Liam McHugh, Tony Dungy, and Rodney Harrison. CBS joined Thursday Night Kickoff at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time during its games.[13] This resulted in some controversy among viewers and the producers of syndicated programming in the locally programmed timeslot before network primetime, where the pre-game affects programs such as Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy! and Entertainment Tonight (all distributed by CBS's sister syndication division CBS Television Distribution), along with several other programs, which then require pre-emption or slotting on lower-profile alternate timeslots or stations to air in markets where they are carried by CBS, Fox, or NBC affiliates in order to accommodate the Thursday games.[58] For Fox, the game telecast is preceded by Fox NFL Thursday live from New York City, hosted by Michael Strahan, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, and Fox’s NFL insider Jay Glazer, who appears from the Fox Sports studios in Los Angeles, where Fox NFL Sunday is filmed, and like CBS and NBC, Fox NFL Thursday would begin at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time; the aforementioned CBS-distributed programming is less-carried by its affiliates (though several still do, such as WVUE/New Orleans and WLUK-TV/Green Bay carrying the game shows), and programs such as sitcoms and entertainment newsmagazines such as TMZ will end up being preempted during Fox's carriage of TNF.

Radio coverage

Westwood One provides national radio broadcasts of the Thursday Night Football games through a contract of currently unknown length (Westwood One quietly renewed the rights after parent company Cumulus Media departed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy). During the 2017 season, Ian Eagle called play-by-play, with Tony Boselli handling color analysis and Hub Arkush as the sideline reporter.[59] Until 2018, Boomer Esiason, the Monday Night Football analyst for Westwood One, has been a regular substitute if Boselli was unavailable due to other commitments (in some cases, Esiason would call the Thursday night game if he is unavailable for the previous/next Monday night game and/or if the Thursday game is in close proximity to his New York home).

Game announcers


NFL Network Pre-game show
Fox Pre-game show
Game Coverage
  • Joe Buck – Fox Play-by-Play (2018–present)
  • Troy Aikman – Fox Color Analyst (2018–present)
  • Mike Pereira - Fox Rules Analyst (2018-present)
  • Erin Andrews – Fox Sideline Reporter (2018–present)
  • Kristina Pink – Fox Sideline Reporter (2018–present)
  • Derek Rae - UK Feed/Amazon Prime Video Play-by-Play (2017-present)
  • Tommy Smyth - UK Feed/Amazon Prime Video Color Analyst (2017-present)
  • Hannah Storm – Amazon Prime Video/Twitch Play-by-Play (2018–present)
  • Andrea Kremer – Amazon Prime Video/Twitch Color Analyst (2018–present)
  • Rich Eisen - host (2006–2017); London Special Play-by-Play and Fill-in Host (2018-present)
  • Melissa Stark - NFLN Fill-in Sideline Reporter (2018-present)
  • Peter Schrager - Fox Fill-in Sideline Reporter (2018-present)
  • Curt Menefee - Fox Fill-in Play-by-Play (2018-present)
  • Nate Burleson - NFLN Fill-in Color Analyst (2018-present)
  • Mike Tirico – NBC Host & Fill-in Play-by-Play (2016); NBC Play-by-Play (2017); NFLN Fill-in Play-by-Play (2018-present)






This table shows the National Football League teams' all-time standings for games played on Thursday Night Football.

Standings are current as of January 18, 2019.

Team Games Played Wins Losses Ties Win Pct. First Appearance Most Recent Appearance
Indianapolis Colts 10 7 3 .700 November 22, 2007
defeated Atlanta 31–13
October 4, 2018
lost to New England 38–24
Kansas City Chiefs 9 6 3 .667 November 23, 2006
defeated Denver 19–10
December 13, 2018
lost to L.A. Chargers 29-28
Pittsburgh Steelers 12 9 3 .750 December 7, 2006
defeated Cleveland 27–7
November 8, 2018
defeated Carolina 52-21
New York Jets 8 4 4 .500 November 13, 2008
defeated New England 34–31
September 20, 2018
lost to Cleveland 21-17
Los Angeles Chargers 9 6 3 .667 December 4, 2008
defeated Oakland 34–7
December 22, 2018
lost to Baltimore 22-10
Dallas Cowboys 12 9 3 .750 December 16, 2006
defeated Atlanta 38–28
November 29, 2018
defeated New Orleans 13-10
Philadelphia Eagles 7 4 3 .571 November 27, 2008
defeated Arizona 48–20
October 11, 2018
defeated New York 34–13
New York Giants 7 4 3 .571 December 30, 2006
defeated Washington 34–28
October 11, 2018
lost to Philadelphia 34–13
San Francisco 49ers 12 6 6 .500 December 14, 2006
defeated Seattle 24–14
November 1, 2018
defeated Oakland 34-3
Denver Broncos 12 6 6 .500 November 23, 2006
lost to Kansas City 19–10
December 15, 2018
lost to Cleveland 17-16
Atlanta Falcons 10 7 3 .700 December 16, 2006
lost to Dallas 38–28
December 7, 2017
defeated New Orleans 20–17
Chicago Bears 10 4 6 .400 December 6, 2007
lost to Washington 24–16
December 16, 2017
lost to Detroit 20–10
Baltimore Ravens 12 8 4 .750 November 30, 2006
lost to Cincinnati 13–7
December 12, 2018
defeated L.A Chargers 22-10
Seattle Seahawks 6 5 1 .833 December 14, 2006
lost to San Francisco 24–14
November 15, 2018
lost to Green Bay 27-24
Green Bay Packers 6 5 1 .833 December 21, 2006
defeated Minnesota 9–7
November 15, 2018
defeated Seattle 27-24
Arizona Cardinals 8 4 4 .500 November 27, 2008
lost to Philadelphia 48–20
October 18, 2018
lost to Denver 35-10
Washington Redskins 9 4 5 .444 December 30, 2006
lost to N.Y. Giants 34–28
December 22, 2018
lost to Tennessee 25-16
New England Patriots 7 6 1 .857 December 29, 2007
defeated N.Y. Giants 38–35
October 4, 2018
defeated Indianapolis 38–24
Miami Dolphins 9 4 5 .444 November 19, 2009
defeated Carolina 24–17
October 25, 2018
lost to Houston 42–23
Detroit Lions 2 1 1 .500 December 3, 2015
lost to Green Bay 27–23
December 16, 2017
defeated Chicago 20–10
Houston Texans 9 4 5 .444 December 13, 2007
defeated Denver 31–13
October 25, 2018
defeated Miami 42-23
Oakland Raiders 10 5 5 .500 December 23, 2006
lost to Kansas City 20–9
November 1, 2018
lost to San Francisco 34-3
Cleveland Browns 10 5 5 .500 December 7, 2006
lost to Pittsburgh 27–7
December 15, 2018
defeated N.Y. Jets 17-16
Cincinnati Bengals 10 4 6 .400 November 30, 2006
defeated Baltimore 13–7
September 13, 2018
defeated Baltimore 34–23
Carolina Panthers 10 3 7 .300 December 22, 2007
lost to Dallas 20–13
November 8, 2018
lost to Pittsburgh 52-21
Jacksonville Jaguars 8 3 5 .375 December 18, 2008
lost to Indianapolis 31–24
October 27, 2016
lost to Tennessee 36–22
Tennessee Titans 9 4 5 .444 December 25, 2009
lost to San Diego 42–17
December 15, 2018
defeated Washington 25-16
New Orleans Saints 8 3 5 .375 December 11, 2008
lost to Chicago 27–24
November 29, 2018
lost to Dallas 13-10
Buffalo Bills 7 2 5 .288 December 3, 2009
lost to N.Y. Jets 19–13
November 2, 2017
lost to N.Y. Jets 34–21
Los Angeles Rams 8 3 5 .375 December 20, 2007
lost to Pittsburgh 41–24
September 27, 2018
defeated Minnesota 38–31
Minnesota Vikings 6 2 4 .333 December 21, 2006
lost to Green Bay 9–7
September 27, 2018
lost to L.A. Rams 33–16
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6 1 5 .167 December 17, 2011
lost to Dallas 31–15
October 5, 2017
lost to New England 19–14

• †St. Louis Rams, 1995–2015 • ‡San Diego Chargers, 1961–2016



Upon the original launch of the Thursday and Saturday night games, few television service providers carried the NFL Network due to disputes during the network's terms in its carriage contracts during negotiations. These disputes were magnified throughout the 2007 season, as two high-profile matchups were to be broadcast by the network. The first was a matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers which was scheduled for the week after Thanksgiving and saw both teams at 10-1, vying for the top seed in the NFC, and the second was Week 17 Saturday night game between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants, where the Patriots had a chance to become the first team since the 1972 Miami Dolphins to end a regular season undefeated.

In the first case, fans were displeased that a matchup between two teams at such a critical point in the season was not available on broadcast television except in the Dallas and Green Bay markets. To avoid such a problem with the potential sixteenth victory for the Patriots, CBS and NBC bought broadcast rights to the game so it could be seen by a nationwide audience on both cable and broadcast television. This ended up causing another controversy, however, as the move by the networks infringed on the exclusivity that would normally have been enjoyed by WWOR-TV in New York City and WCVB-TV in Boston, which were the Giants' and Patriots' respective local over-the-air broadcasters for cable-televised games (the game aired on these stations, as well as on WCBS-TV, WNBC, WBZ-TV and WHDH in the teams' market areas).[60]

Game quality and viewership

Thursday Night Football games on NFL Network are among the lowest-rated nationally televised NFL broadcasts. Critics have argued that the games televised on Thursday Night Football have been of lower quality than other prime time games, as they often featured match-ups between lesser or poor-performing teams, and that the shortened rest between games triggered by Thursday games also has an effect on their overall quality.[14][15] In an analysis by Sports on Earth writer Aaron Roberts, it was determined that most Thursday games were of average or above-average quality in comparison to normal, non-prime time games, but that this was "by design" due to the leverage of other NFL broadcasters on how games are scheduled throughout the season (which traditionally prioritizes "major" games for either late-afternoon or Sunday and Monday nights).[61][62]

The move of selected games to CBS brought improved ratings: the inaugural game was the highest-rated program of the night, with an audience share of 13.7 and an average of 20.7 million viewers, representing a 108% increase in ratings over the first NFL Network game in 2013. The game, whose ratings were boosted by coverage of the Ray Rice scandal, also brought CBS its highest prime time ratings on a Thursday night since May 2006. While lower, at 9.6 million viewers, the Week 3 game between the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers was also the highest-rated program of the night.[63][64][65][66] The first four games of the package, however, featured blowout victories.[67][68] In total, average viewership of the games increased from around 7 million to around 11.8 million in the 2014 season.[69]

Controversy over ratings and the quality of play in Thursday night contests escalated when on November 28, 2016, a report circulated that the league was considering ending the franchise. The NFL, however, denied this rumor.[70] The subsequent game on December 1, 2016 between the Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings was the highest rated Thursday Night Football of the season.[71][72]

During the 2016 season, current and former players including Richard Sherman,[73] J. J. Watt,[74] and Charles Woodson [75] expressed their dislikes for Thursday Night Football, with Richard Sherman calling it a "poopfest".[76]

The September 20, 2018 game between the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns, which saw the debut of Cleveland's first overall pick Baker Mayfield, as well as the team breaking a nearly two-year losing streak, set a record for the highest-rated NFL Network-exclusive broadcast in Thursday Night Football history, with a 5.2 household rating and over 8 million viewers.[77]

Player safety

As mentioned, a team needing to play a Thursday night game can result in a shortened rest period for players between games.[14][15] On October 6, 2014, Arian Foster, then of the Houston Texans, made a statement considering it hypocritical for the NFL to emphasize the safety of players (particularly in regards to concussions) while allowing its players to play a game on only three days' rest, which he considered to be equally "dangerous".[68] Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks has also voiced displeasure about Thursday night games reducing prep time, and wrote a 2016 editorial for The Players' Tribune about the games.[78] Sherman's 2017 season (and his run with the Seahawks; he would sign a new deal with the San Francisco 49ers in the 2018 off-season) would end on November 9, 2017 during a Thursday night game against the Arizona Cardinals, when he ruptured his Achilles tendon.[79]

On January 29, 2015, the NFL released its health and safety report, which states that an average of 4.8 injuries were sustained during Thursday games compared to 6.9 injuries per game on Sundays and Mondays.[80]

See also


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External links

Preceded by
NFL Thursday Night Football broadcaster
(with CBS from 2014 to 2017)
(with NBC from 2016 to 2017)
(with Fox from 2018 to present)
Succeeded by
2007 New England Patriots–New York Giants game

On December 29, 2007, during the final week of the 2007 season, the New England Patriots defeated the New York Giants, 38–35, at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. In what became a preview of Super Bowl XLII, the game was a close comeback win for the Patriots, giving them the first undefeated regular season since the 1972 Miami Dolphins and the only undefeated regular season since the league expanded to 16 games.

The game, notable for the events related to its television broadcast, was the second of three meetings between the teams in the 2007 season: they met in the last week of the preseason, and again in Super Bowl XLII, in which the Giants upset the Patriots 17–14.

2009 NFL season

The 2009 NFL season was the 90th season in the history of the National Football League (NFL).

The preseason started with the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game on August 9, 2009, and the regular season began September 10. The season ended with Super Bowl XLIV, the league's championship game, on February 7, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium with the New Orleans Saints defeating the Indianapolis Colts 31–17. in Miami Gardens, Florida.The Colts and Saints began the season 14–0 and 13–0 respectively. This was the first time in NFL history two teams won their first thirteen games.

Bucky Brooks

William Eldridge (Bucky) Brooks Jr. (born January 22, 1971) is a sportswriter covering the National Football League for Sports Illustrated and a former professional football player. He played for five NFL teams in a five-year career, primarily as a kick returner.Brooks is in his sixth season as an analyst for NFL Network and He contributes weekly columns, as well as video features including ‘Scout’s Take’ and ‘On the Beat’ on, and offers interactive analysis on the latest NFL topics and headlines with weekly live online chats. He is currently the co-host on the successful podcast 'Move the Sticks', alongside Daniel Jeremiah. The two ex-scouts produce multiple podcasts each week during the NFL season and focus on topics such as NFL and NCAA game previews and reviews, and NFL Draft scouting. For the 2010 season, Brooks returned as an analyst for Thursday Night Football,’s in-game coverage of the Network’s eight live, regular season game broadcasts. Thursday Night Football presents a live show throughout the game including “live look ins” of the game, reports from the field and highlights. He is also a frequent guest on's Dave Dameshek Football Program podcast, appearing approximately once per week to discuss the NFL Draft and various listicles created for

CBS Sports

CBS Sports is the sports division of the American television network CBS. Its headquarters are in the CBS Building on West 52nd Street in midtown Manhattan, New York City, with programs produced out of Studio 43 at the CBS Broadcast Center on West 57th Street.

Its premier sports properties are the NFL, Southeastern Conference (SEC) football, NCAA basketball (including telecasts of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament), and PGA golf, including The Masters, and the PGA Championship.

The online arm of CBS Sports is CBS purchased in 2004, and today is part of CBS Interactive. On February 26, 2018, following up on the success of their online news network CBSN, CBS Sports launched CBS Sports HQ, a 24/7, online only, linear sports news network. The network focuses entirely on sports news, results, highlights and analysis. (CBS Sports college sports and golf programming that it distributes over the air is generally made available for free via separate streams, as are a limited number of NFL national telecasts; the remainder requires a CBS All Access subscription to be viewed online, with CBS Sports Network programming requiring a TV Everywhere subscription.)

CBS Sports was honored at the 59th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Advanced Media Technology for Synchronous Enhancement of Original Television Content for Interactive Use for its program March Madness on Demand.

On August 31, 2013, CBS Sports rolled out its previous graphics and animation package that was first used in the network's coverage of Super Bowl XLVII. Additionally, in compliance with the Active Format Description #10 code, CBS Sports switched to a 16:9 aspect ratio letterbox presentation used for all sports programming, including the SEC on CBS and the NFL on CBS broadcasts.

On November 30, 2015, CBS Sports released a new logo in order to coincide with the network's coverage of Super Bowl 50. The network also created a new on-air graphics package that debuted as part of the network's Super Bowl week programming. Following the game, the graphics package began to be utilized across all of their programming events, including their joint production of NCAA March Madness with Turner Sports. The Masters, which retains heavy production control over their event, will continue to use the network's older graphical style originally unveiled in 2007. Also, the network's Thursday Night Football game broadcasts continued to use the graphical style originally used since its debut in 2014 until its rights to that package expired in 2018.


The CFL on TSN is TSN's presentation of the Canadian Football League. TSN has broadcast CFL games since the 1987 season and has been the exclusive broadcaster of all CFL games (including the playoffs and Grey Cup) since 2008. While the CFL on TSN shows all CFL games, a more entertainment-focused Thursday Night Football telecast (unrelated to the National Football League package of the same name) was added in 2015.

History of the National Football League on television

The history of the National Football League on television documents the long history of the National Football League on television. The NFL, along with boxing and professional wrestling (before the latter publicly became known as a "fake" sport), was a pioneer of sports broadcasting during a time when baseball and college football were more popular than professional football. Due to the NFL understanding television at an earlier time, they were able to surpass Major League Baseball in the 1960s as the most popular sport in the United States. Today, NFL broadcasting contracts are among the most valuable in the world.

I Feel Bad

I Feel Bad is an American comedy television series, based on the book I Feel Bad: All Day. Every Day. About Everything by Orli Auslander, that premiered on September 19, 2018, on NBC. It stars Sarayu Blue, Paul Adelstein, Aisling Bea, Zach Cherry, Johnny Pemberton, and James Buckley and is executive produced by Aseem Batra, Julie Anne Robinson, Amy Poehler, Dave Becky, and Joshua D. Maurer. On November 8, 2018, it was announced that the series would conclude in December 2018 and that NBC would make a decision regarding a potential renewal at a later date.

In My City

"In My City" is the debut single by Indian recording artist and actress Priyanka Chopra, featuring American rapper The song was produced by RedOne, Rush and Brian Kennedy, and was co-written by Ester Dean, who provides additional vocals. The demo version of "In My City" was first played by to Chopra, who was impressed with the track and decided to record it. The song is a homage to Chopra's nomadic childhood and journey from being a small-town girl to being a successful actor. "In My City" premiered on 13 September 2012, at the NFL Network's Thursday Night Football. The next day, the song was released for digital downloads to Nokia Music Store along with CD single.

"In My City" received mixed reviews from music critics; some complimented Chopra's vocals, while some criticised the generic sound of the song. In India, "In My City" was a commercial success. It sold 130,000 copies in its first week and was certified triple platinum by Indian Music Industry (IMI). The accompanying video for "In My City" was directed by Joseph Kahn and was released in January 2013.

Matt Millen

Matthew George Millen (born March 12, 1958) is an American former National Football League linebacker and former executive. Millen played for the Oakland Raiders, the San Francisco 49ers and the Washington Redskins. In Millen's 12-year NFL playing career, he played on four teams that won the Super Bowl. Millen won a Super Bowl ring with each of the three teams for which he played; moreover, he won a Super Bowl ring in each of the four cities in which he played (the Raiders won championships in both Oakland and Los Angeles during his tenure).After his playing career, Millen was President and chief executive officer of the Detroit Lions from 2001 until week 4 of the 2008 NFL season. His eight-year tenure as head of the franchise led to the worst eight-year record in the history of the modern NFL (31-84, a .270 winning percentage), and resulted in his termination on September 24, 2008. Millen assembled the personnel and coaching staff of the 2008 Lions, which became the first team to go 0-16. This was the sole worst single-season record in league history until it was tied by the 2017 Cleveland Browns. He is generally regarded as the worst, or one of the worst, general managers in the history of modern sports.Following his NFL career, he was a football commentator for several national television and radio networks. His last job before joining the Lions was as a member of the number two broadcast team for NFL on Fox, as well as being the color commentator for Monday Night Football on Westwood One. On February 1, 2009, he joined the NBC broadcast team for pre-game analysis of Super Bowl XLIII. He has also been employed by ESPN as an NFL and college football analyst, and by NFL Network as a color commentator on Thursday Night Football. In 2015, Millen returned to Fox NFL and debuted on Big Ten Network.

Mike Tirico

Michael Todd Tirico (; born December 13, 1966) is an American sportscaster working for NBC Sports. He is perhaps best known for his 10-year run as an NFL play-by-play announcer on ESPN's Monday Night Football from 2006 to 2015. During his 25 year tenure with ESPN, Tirico also called a multitude of sports for the network, including the NBA, college football and basketball, golf, tennis, and hockey. He was one of the anchors of ESPN's coverage of the FIFA World Cup along with Bob Ley.Tirico left ESPN when his contract expired in the summer of 2016, and was subsequently hired by NBC Sports. Tirico debuted during its coverage of the 2016 Open Championship. Although it was reported that NBC had intended Tirico to serve as the lead play-by-play for newly acquired portion of the Thursday Night Football package, contractual obligations required the positions to be filled by NBC's existing Sunday Night Football broadcast team. However, Tirico would call a limited schedule of games from both packages in the 2016 season, primarily as a substitute for lead commentator Al Michaels, and on several NFL Network-exclusive games. Tirico would become the lead play-by-play commentator for NBC's Thursday Night Football games in the 2017 season. After calling three Notre Dame games in 2016, Tirico also replaced Dan Hicks as the full-time play-by-play man for Notre Dame football in 2017.

On February 9, 2017, it was announced that Tirico would become primetime host of NBC's coverage of the Olympics, beginning at the 2018 Winter Olympics, and as the on-site host for NBC's coverage of the NFL beginning in the 2017 season, both replacing veteran sportscaster, Bob Costas. In August 2018, he was named the new studio host of NBC's Football Night in America, replacing Dan Patrick.

Monday Night with Matty Johns

Monday Night with Matty Johns is an Australian sports television series aired on Fox Sports on 4 March 2013.

The show expanded to two nights a week (Mondays and Thursdays) on Thursday 5 March 2015. In 2016, the show went back to one night (Mondays) due to Fox Sports televising Thursday Night Football.

NFL Color Rush

The NFL Color Rush was a promotion done in conjunction with the National Football League (NFL) and Nike that promotes so-called "color vs. color" matchups with teams in matchup-specific uniforms that are primarily one solid color with alternating colored accents, primarily airing on Thursday Night Football. Despite being promoted as color vs. color, some games had one team wearing traditional white uniforms, either by choice or out of necessity. The uniforms did not count against each team with regards to their allowed alternate uniform allotment. The games received mixed responses from fans, with some praising the NFL for changing up their games in terms of uniforms, while others criticized the promotion for some of its garish uniforms. The promotion was officially discontinued for the 2018 NFL season, but many teams continue to wear the Color Rush uniforms and promote them heavily, notably the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

NFL Network Thursday Night Football results (2006–present)

The following is a detailed list of results and scores from National Football League games aired on NFL Network's Thursday Night Football. Starting with the 2006 NFL season, NFL Network was awarded the rights to air Thursday night games (with some extra broadcasts on Saturday nights). Previously, games played on Thursdays were broadcast on TNT and ESPN.

National Football League on Canadian television

As of the 2017 NFL season, CTV and TSN broadcast Sunday games. Monday Night Football airs exclusively on TSN. TSN and CTV Two own rights to Sunday Night Football and Thursday Night Football. RDS carries games in the French language from all timeslots. U.S. network television feeds may also be available, often from multiple markets, on cable and satellite (and via terrestrial broadcast in the border lands); all games are subject to simultaneous substitution.


Sony ESPN is an Indian pay television sports channel which is a joint venture between ESPN, Inc. (majorly owned by The Walt Disney Company) and Sony Pictures Networks India. The channel targets the Indian subcontinent including India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Launched as Sony Kix on 8 April 2015 (the day when 2015 Indian Premier League began) by what is now Sony Pictures Networks India, it was the second sports television channel launched by the company after Sony Six. The channel was rebranded as Sony ESPN on 17 January 2016. The partnership with ESPN was made official in October 2015. Sony and ESPN would partner together on website and app efforts, with ESPN providing and producing content such as cricket, football, tennis, NBA basketball, badminton, field hockey, golf, rugby union, Formula E along with other events.Sony ESPN have broadcast IPL matches during 2016-2017 in Bengali, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and English-language commentary.Sony ESPN broadcast the NFL season 2016-17 with programs such as Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football, Thursday Night Football, NFL Playoffs, Pro Bowl, and the Super Bowl.

Texas Car Wars

Texas Car Wars was an American reality documentary television series on the Discovery Channel. The series debuted on September 9, 2012 and follows four auto body shops who participate in bidding wars in order to find the most valuable junk cars and refurbish them into jackpots.

The Real Housewives of Miami (season 2)

The second season of The Real Housewives of Miami, an American reality television series, was broadcast on Bravo. It aired from September 13, 2012 until January 8, 2013 and was primarily filmed in Miami, Florida. Its executive producers are Matt Anderson, Nate Green and Andy Cohen.

The Real Housewives of Miami focuses on the lives of Lea Black, Adriana De Moura, Marysol Patton, Lisa Hochstein, Joanna Krupa, Ana Quincoces and Karent Sierra. It consisted of eighteen episodes.

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