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Thursday Night Football is the branding used for broadcasts of NFL games that broadcast primarily on Thursday nights beginning on week 2 of the regular season, and occasionally on Saturdays in the later portion of the season. Most of the games kick off at 8:25 p.m. Eastern Time (previously 8:20 p.m. ET from 2006–2013).

Debuting on November 23, 2006, the telecasts were originally part of NFL Network's Run to the Playoffs package, which consisted of 8 total games broadcast on Thursday and Saturday nights (5 on Thursdays, and 3 on Saturdays, originally branded as Saturday Night Football) during the latter portion of the season. Since 2012, the Thursday Night Football package has begun during week 2 of the NFL season; the NFL Kickoff Game and the Thanksgiving prime-time game are both broadcast as part of NBC Sunday Night Football contract and are not included in Thursday Night Football, although the Thanksgiving prime-time 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 New England Patriots close out a perfect regular season was simulcast nationally on both CBS & 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, production of the Thursday Night Football games was taken over by CBS Sports under a 1 year deal. As part of the deal, CBS would carry 9 Thursday Night games (which were simulcast on NFL Network) and lend its primary broadcast team, consisting of Jim Nantz & Phil Simms, to cover the remaining Thursday telecasts airing exclusively on NFL Network. In addition, NFL Network extended the length of the Thursday telecasts to Week 16 of the season, and added 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. On February 1, 2016, NFL announced that CBS and NBC would split the broadcast television portion of the Thursday Night Football schedule beginning 2016, with both networks broadcasting 5 games in simulcast with NFL Network. CBS will air the first 5 games and NBC will air the other 5 games.

The games are broadcast on radio via Westwood 1, which syndicates the broadcasts to its partner radio stations around the United States. It also airs on Fox Sports Latin America, ESPN Brasil and Esporte Interactive.

Background Edit

Early history Edit

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, a practice which has since been discontinued. 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. 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 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 were not played on Thursday were referred to as a "special edition" of Thursday Night Football; since then, however, relatively few Thursday Night Football games have been played outside of Thursdays. Starting in 2014, when Saturday night games returned to the NFL Network after a two-year absence, games played on Saturday are now referred to as a "Saturday edition" of Thursday Night Football, and the NFL International Series game in the package in 2016 was branded as Thursday Night Special.

The Thanksgiving matchup was moved from NFL Network to NBC's broadcast 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 Edit

In January 2014, it was reported that the NFL was planning to sub-license a package of up to 8 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. The remaining games would remain exclusive to NFL Network, due to carriage contracts with TV providers requiring at least 8 NFL games to air exclusively on the channel per-season. 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.

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 CBS's lead announcing team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. The first 8 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 CBS simulcasts 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 late game.

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. 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.

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. CBS and 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.

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". Following complaints by Rihanna on Twitter regarding the removal, the song was pulled entirely from future broadcasts.

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.

2016–2017: CBS and NBC Edit

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. The New York Post reported that this deal would also include the sale of a stake in NFL Network itself.

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 Amazon.com, 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). In January 2016, it was reported that 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.

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 will each air 5 games (resulting in a schedule of 10 games on broadcast TV in comparison to 8 under the previous deal), followed by an additional 8 games exclusively on NFL Network to satisfy NFL Network's re-transmission consent contracts with cable providers); the 8 NFL Network-exclusive games will include 6 Thursday contests, a Sunday morning International Series contest, and a Christmas afternoon 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." 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.

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' 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. Due to the streaming deal, over-the-top television providers PlayStation Vue and Sling TV are also required to black out the games on NFL Network.

Game 1 produced by NBC Sports was broadcast on November 3, 2016, but the portion of the package simulcast on NBC will not begin until the November 17 game (though the 2 preceding games were carried by NBC stations in each team's market). A cappella group Pentatonix recorded a reworked version of their song "Sing" to serve as the opening theme song for NBC's games. NBC also commissioned new theme music by Jimmy Greco, performed by members of the orchestra from the Broadway musical Hamilton.

2018– Edit

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.

Coverage Edit

Game announcers Edit

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 Cris Collinsworth for Saturday telecasts. In 2007, Cris Collinsworth replaced Dick Vermeil alongside Bryant Gumbel for all games.

Cris 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.

Gumbel was joined by NFL Network draft analyst and NBC Notre Dame color man Mike Mayock, and the pairing spent 3 seasons calling games.

As a result of CBS taking over production responsibilities for the Thursday Night Football broadcasts, its #1 broadcast team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms took over the broadcast booth. With NBC adding games in 2016, Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth, the broadcast team of NBC Sunday Night Football, are 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. Mike Tirico eventually called the December 22, 2016 Thursday Night Football game alongside Cris 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. On May 31, 2017, it was announced that Mike Tirico replaced Al Michaels full-time for NBC's Thursday Night Football games. For 2017, Kurt Warner will similarly fill in for Cris Collinsworth on 2 non-Thursday games.

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, and the fact that Phil Simms remains under contract with CBS through the next several years. However, the network confirmed via press release that Tony Romo will work Sunday and Thursday games.

Pregame, halftime and postgame coverage Edit

Each game telecast is preceded on NFL Network by NFL Total Access Kickoff, which broadcasts live from the site of each game and currently features Rich Eisen as its host, with Steve MariucciDeion SandersMichael Irvin and either Marshall Faulk or Kurt Warner as analysts. The show generally begins 2 hours before game time (6:00 p.m. Eastern Time). The same Total Access team hosts the halftime and postgame shows. In 2015, Kickoff was replaced with TNF GameDay, and is broadcast from the NFL Network GameDay studios, instead of from the game site.

The game proper is preceded by a pre-game show; CBS games are preceded by Thursday Night Kickoff, hosted by James Brown, with Bill Cowher and Deion Sanders serve as analysts. NBC games are preceded by Football Night in America (renamed in reference of the host city of the game), hosted by Bob Costas, with Tony Dungy, and Rodney Harrison serve as analysts. CBS joined Thursday Night Kickoff at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time during its games. This resulted in some controversy among viewers and the producers of syndicated programming in the locally programmed time slot before network primetime, where the pre-game affects programs such as Wheel of FortuneJeopardy! 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/NBC affiliates in order to accommodate the Thursday games.

Radio coverage Edit

Westwood One provides national radio broadcasts of the Thursday Night Football games, with Ian Eagle calling play-by-play, Boomer Esiason and Tony Boselli split color commentary duties and '''''Hub Arkush''''' as the sideline reporter.

Game announcers Edit

Television Edit

Current Edit

Pre-game show Edit

Primary Edit

Secondary

  • Rich Eisen – Host (2006–present)
  • Chris Rose – Fill-in Host (2016-present)
  • Marshall Faulk – Analyst (2006–present)
  • Michael Irvin – Analyst (2011–present)
  • Steve Mariucci – Analyst (2006–present)
  • LaDanian Tomlinson – Fill-in Analyst (2016-present)
  • Willie McGinest – Fill-in Analyst (2016-present)

Game coverage

  • Jim Nantz – CBS lead Play-by-Play (2014–present)
  • Tony Romo – CBS lead Color Analyst (2017–present)
  • Tracy Wolfson – CBS lead Sideline Reporter (2014–present)
  • Jay Feely – CBS lead Kicking Analyst (2017–present)
  • Greg Gumbel – CBS #2 Play-by-Play (2017–present)
  • Trent Green – CBS Fill-in Color Commentator (2015); CBS #2 Color Commentator (2017–present)
  • Jamie Erdahl - CBS #2 Sideline Reporter (2017–present)
  • Mike Tirico – NBC Host & Fill-in Play-by-Play (2016); NBC Play-by-Play (2017–present)
  • Cris Collinsworth – NFLN color commentator (2006–2008); NBC #1 Color Commentator (2016–present)
  • Kurt Warner – analyst (2010–2011); Fill-in NBC Color Analyst (2017–present)
  • Heather Cox – NBC Sideline Reporter (2016–present)

Former Edit

  • Fran Charles – pre-game host (2006–2008)
  • Bob Costas – NBC Host (2016–present)
  • Jenny Dell – Fill-in CBS Sideline Reporter (2014)
  • Ian Eagle – Fill-in CBS Play-by-Play (2014–2015) Still calling Thursday Night Football on the Radio Side
  • Alex Flanagan – sideline reporter (2010–2013)
  • Jay Glazer – pre-game analyst (2010–2011)
  • Bryant Gumbel – play-by-play (2006–2013)
  • Scott Hanson – sideline reporter (2009)
  • Kara Henderson – pre-game host (2011)
  • Harry Kalas – sponsorship announcer (2006–2008; deceased)
  • Mike Mayock – color analyst (2011–2013)
  • Matt Millen – color analyst (2009–2010)
  • Al Michaels – NBC Play-by-Play (2016)
  • Doug Flutie – Fill-in NBC Color Analyst (2016)
  • Jim Mora – pre-game analyst (2010)
  • Warren Sapp – pre-game analyst (2008)
  • Adam Schefter – sideline reporter (2006–2008)
  • Sterling Sharpe – pre-game analyst (2010–2011)
  • Phil Simms – CBS lead Color analyst (2014–2016)
  • Pat Summerall – sponsorship announcer (2009; deceased)
  • Joe Theismann – color analyst (2010)
  • Dick Vermeil – Saturday color analyst (2006)
  • Kurt Warner – analyst (2010–2011)
  • Evan Washburn – Fill-in CBS Sideline Reporter (2015)

Radio Edit

Current Edit

  • Ian Eagle – lead play-by-play (2008–present)
  • Boomer Esiason – color analyst (2013–present) Select Games
  • Tony Boselli – color analyst (2015–present) Select Games

Former Edit

  • Bonnie Bernstein – sideline reporter (2006–2007)
  • Randy Cross – color analyst (2009)
  • Dick Enberg – play-by-play (2006–2007)
  • Dennis Green – color analyst (2007–2008)
  • Mike Mayock – color analyst (2014)
  • Tim Ryan – color analyst (2015) Select Games
  • Sam Wyche – color analyst (2006)

Results Edit

Listed below are games and their respective results played from 2006 to the present.

2000s Edit

2006 season Edit

Main article: 2006 NFL season

Day Date Visiting team Final score Host team Stadium Game notes
Thursday November 23 Denver Broncos 10–19 Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium First prime-time Thanksgiving game in NFL history held in the request of Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt, who had asked the NFL to schedule game 3 for years. At the time of the game, Hunt was hospitalized in Dallas, Texas, and died weeks later at the age of 74.
Thursday November 30 Baltimore Ravens 7–13 Cincinnati Bengals Paul Brown Stadium
Thursday December 7 Cleveland Browns 7–27 Pittsburgh Steelers Heinz Field
Thursday December 14 San Francisco 49ers 24–14 Seattle Seahawks Qwest Field Unsafe weather conditions and rain storm delay game by twenty minutes.
Saturday December 16 Dallas Cowboys 38–28 Atlanta Falcons Georgia Dome After the Cowboys-Falcons game, Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens came to the NFL Total Access set and acknowledged spitting in the face of Falcons' cornerback DeAngelo Hall early in the contest. There is no video, from that night's telecast or any other source, that is known to have captured the incident, but Owens was fined $30,000 by the NFL.
Thursday December 21 Minnesota Vikings 7–9 Green Bay Packers Lambeau Field
Saturday December 23 Kansas City Chiefs 20–9 Oakland Raiders McAfee Coliseum Sideline reporter Adam Schefter reported that the Oakland Raiders had begun the process to fire head coach Art Shell, which was immediately refuted by Al Davis. Weeks later, the report was true and the Raiders indeed relieved Shell of his duties.
Saturday December 30 New York Giants 34–28 Washington Redskins FedEx Field

Additional notes Edit

According to Nielsen Media Research, the Broncos-Chiefs game that opened this package was the highest-rated program on cable/satellite TV in the United States on November 23, 2006, with a 6.8 rating (among available households) and an average of 4.2 million households. These numbers are especially remarkable, considering that millions of potential fans were unable to see the game due to their cable systems not making it available to them.

2007 season Edit

Main article: 2007 NFL season

Day Date Visiting team Final score Host team Stadium Game notes
Thursday November 22 Indianapolis Colts 31–13 Atlanta Falcons Georgia Dome Fifth straight Thanksgiving Day start for QB Joey Harrington, who was on his third different team in as many years.
Thursday November 29 Green Bay Packers 27–37 Dallas Cowboys Texas Stadium First game since 1990 season featuring two 10–1 teams. Eventual tie-breaker for home-field advantage in the playoffs. Following the game, Bryant Gumbel refers to Dallas quarterback Tony Romo as Rick Romo.
Thursday December 6 Chicago Bears 16–24 Washington Redskins FedEx Field Redskins play game just 2 days after the burial of Sean Taylor. Taylor was fatally wounded in his Miami, Florida home the week before.
Thursday December 13 Denver Broncos 13–31 Houston Texans Reliant Stadium Former Broncos offensive coordinator and current Texans head coach Gary Kubiak defeats his former employer in first meeting.
Saturday December 15 Cincinnati Bengals 13–20 San Francisco 49ers Monster Park
Thursday December 20 Pittsburgh Steelers 41–24 St. Louis Rams Edward Jones Dome Former Rams running back and current NFL Network analyst Marshall Faulk's jersey #28 is retired in St. Louis.
Saturday December 22 Dallas Cowboys 20–13 Carolina Panthers Bank of America Stadium
Saturday December 29 New England Patriots 38–35 New York Giants Giants Stadium Patriots complete a 16–0 regular season finish, the first undefeated NFL regular season in 35 years. The game was simulcast on NFL Network, NBC, and CBS.

New England and New York Giants met again in Super Bowl XLII over a month later. The Patriots were still on their undefeated streak (18–0) while the Giants were winners of an NFL-record 10-straight road games. NYG defeated the Patriots in the rematch by a score of 17–14 to claim their third Super Bowl championship.

2008 season Edit

Main article: 2008 NFL season

Day Date Visiting team Final score Host team Stadium Game notes
Thursday November 6 Denver Broncos 34–30 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Browns Stadium
Thursday November 13 New York Jets 34–31 (OT) New England Patriots Gillette Stadium First overtime game on Thursday Night Football.
Thursday November 20 Cincinnati Bengals 10–27 Pittsburgh Steelers Heinz Field
Thursday November 27 Arizona Cardinals 20–48 Philadelphia Eagles Lincoln Financial Field After being benched following a poor performance the week before, Donovan McNabb led the Eagles to a victory over the Cardinals on Thanksgiving Day. The two teams would later meet months later in the NFC Championship with the Cardinals winning the second matchup.
Thursday December 4 Oakland Raiders 7–34 San Diego Chargers Qualcomm Stadium The game was broadcast in 3D in select movie theaters across the nation.
Thursday December 11 New Orleans Saints 24–27 (OT) Chicago Bears Soldier Field
Thursday December 18 Indianapolis Colts 31–24 Jacksonville Jaguars Jacksonville Municipal Stadium
Saturday December 20 Baltimore Ravens 33–24 Dallas Cowboys Texas Stadium The final game at Texas Stadium.

2009 season Edit

The 2009 season featured a Friday night game on December 25, as the Thursday that week is Christmas Eve, and the NFL tries not to schedule games that night in deference to the holiday (a lone exception being a Monday Night Football game in 2007 due to scheduling conflicts caused by ESPN's broadcast contracts). Also, the start times were pushed back by 5 minutes, to 8:20 p.m. Eastern time (except for the December 25 game, starting at 7:30 PM EST/6:30 CST).

Week Day Date Visiting team Final score Host team Stadium Game notes
10 Thursday November 12 Chicago Bears 6–10 San Francisco 49ers Candlestick Park
11 Thursday November 19 Miami Dolphins 24–17 Carolina Panthers Bank of America Stadium
12 Thursday November 26 New York Giants 6–26 Denver Broncos Invesco Field at Mile High Thanksgiving Day game
13 Thursday December 3 New York Jets 19–13 Buffalo Bills Rogers Centre Bills Toronto Series
14 Thursday December 10 Pittsburgh Steelers 6–13 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Browns Stadium
15 Thursday December 17 Indianapolis Colts 35–31 Jacksonville Jaguars Jacksonville Municipal Stadium
15 Saturday December 19 Dallas Cowboys 24–17 New Orleans Saints Louisiana Superdome
16 Friday December 25 San Diego Chargers 42–17 Tennessee Titans LP Field Christmas game

2010s Edit

2010 season Edit

Week Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Host Team Stadium Game Notes
10 Thursday November 11 Baltimore Ravens 21–26 Atlanta Falcons Georgia Dome
11 Thursday November 18 Chicago Bears 16–0 Miami Dolphins Sun Life Stadium
12 Thursday November 25 Cincinnati Bengals 10–26 New York Jets New Meadowlands Stadium Thanksgiving Day game
13 Thursday December 2 Houston Texans 24–34 Philadelphia Eagles Lincoln Financial Field
14 Thursday December 9 Indianapolis Colts 30–28 Tennessee Titans LP Field
15 Thursday December 16 San Francisco 49ers 7–34 San Diego Chargers Qualcomm Stadium
16 Thursday December 23 Carolina Panthers 3–27 Pittsburgh Steelers Heinz Field
16 Saturday December 25 Dallas Cowboys 26–27 Arizona Cardinals University of Phoenix Stadium Christmas game

2011 season Edit

Week Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Host Team Stadium Game Notes
10 Thursday November 10 Oakland Raiders 24–17 San Diego Chargers Qualcomm Stadium
11 Thursday November 17 New York Jets 13–17 Denver Broncos Sports Authority Field at Mile High
12 Thursday November 24 San Francisco 49ers 6–16 Baltimore Ravens M&T Bank Stadium Thanksgiving Day game
13 Thursday December 1 Philadelphia Eagles 14–31 Seattle Seahawks CenturyLink Field
14 Thursday December 8 Cleveland Browns 3–14 Pittsburgh Steelers Heinz Field
15 Thursday December 15 Jacksonville Jaguars 14–41 Atlanta Falcons Georgia Dome
15 Saturday December 17 Dallas Cowboys 31–15 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Raymond James Stadium
16 Thursday December 22 Houston Texans 16-19 Indianapolis Colts Lucas Oil Stadium

2012 season Edit

Starting with this season, the NFL expanded to a full season Thursday Night Football schedule. But there were some changes with the biggest being that every team was guaranteed a primetime appearance. In addition to the Season opener, the primetime Thanksgiving game also aired on NBC.

Week Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Host Team Stadium Game Notes
2 Thursday September 13 Chicago Bears 10–23 Green Bay Packers Lambeau Field
3 Thursday September 20 New York Giants 36–7 Carolina Panthers Bank of America Stadium
4 Thursday September 27 Cleveland Browns 16–23 Baltimore Ravens M&T Bank Stadium
5 Thursday October 4 Arizona Cardinals 3–17 St. Louis Rams Edward Jones Dome
6 Thursday October 11 Pittsburgh Steelers 23–26 Tennessee Titans LP Field
7 Thursday October 18 Seattle Seahawks 6–13 San Francisco 49ers Candlestick Park
8 Thursday October 25 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 36–17 Minnesota Vikings Mall of America Field at the

Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome

9 Thursday November 1 Kansas City Chiefs 13–31 San Diego Chargers Qualcomm Stadium
10 Thursday November 8 Indianapolis Colts 27–10 Jacksonville Jaguars EverBank Field
11 Thursday November 15 Miami Dolphins 14–19 Buffalo Bills Ralph Wilson Stadium
13 Thursday November 29 New Orleans Saints 13–23 Atlanta Falcons Georgia Dome
14 Thursday December 6 Denver Broncos 26–13 Oakland Raiders O.co Coliseum
15 Thursday December 13 Cincinnati Bengals 34–13 Philadelphia Eagles Lincoln Financial Field

2013 season Edit

Week Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Host Team Stadium Game Notes
2 Thursday September 12 New York Jets 10–13 New England Patriots Gillette Stadium
3 Thursday September 19 Kansas City Chiefs 26–16 Philadelphia Eagles Lincoln Financial Field
4 Thursday September 26 San Francisco 49ers 35–11 St. Louis Rams Edward Jones Dome
5 Thursday October 3 Buffalo Bills 24–37 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Browns Stadium
5 Sunday October 6 San Diego Chargers 17–27 Oakland Raiders O.co Coliseum Originally planned to be broadcast by CBS for a 1:25 p.m. PT (4:25 p.m. ET) start, the game was pushed back to an 8:35 p.m. PT (11:35 p.m. ET) start because the stadium needed to be changed back to its football configuration following an Oakland Athletics playoff game the night before. The game was moved to NFL Network as a "special edition" of Thursday Night Football, but retained CBS production staff and commentators Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts. In San Diego, CBS affiliate KFMB-TV (who would have broadcast the game had it been played at its normal time) picked up rights to simulcast the game over-the-air.
6 Thursday October 10 New York Giants 21–27 Chicago Bears Soldier Field
7 Thursday October 17 Seattle Seahawks 34–22 Arizona Cardinals University of Phoenix Stadium
8 Thursday October 24 Carolina Panthers 31–13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Raymond James Stadium
9 Thursday October 31 Cincinnati Bengals 20–22 (OT) Miami Dolphins Sun Life Stadium
10 Thursday November 7 Washington Redskins 27–34 Minnesota Vikings Mall of America Field
11 Thursday November 14 Indianapolis Colts 30–27 Tennessee Titans LP Field
12 Thursday November 21 New Orleans Saints 17–13 Atlanta Falcons Georgia Dome
14 Thursday December 5 Houston Texans 20–27 Jacksonville Jaguars Everbank Field
15 Thursday December 12 San Diego Chargers 27–20 Denver Broncos Sports Authority Field at Mile High

2014 season Edit

Starting with the 2014 season, the NFL and CBS signed a deal that would put part of the Thursday Night Football package on national primetime. CBS, with an NFL Network simulcast, would air 8 games (mostly the first half), while the NFL Network airs the other 14 games (mostly the second half) exclusively. The deal was for 1 year with the option of a second year in 2015, which the NFL chose to exercise.

Week Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Host Team Stadium Network Game Notes
2 Thursday September 11 Pittsburgh Steelers 6–26 Baltimore Ravens M&T Bank Stadium CBS/NFLN
3 Thursday September 18 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14–56 Atlanta Falcons Georgia Done CBS/NFLN
4 Thursday September 25 New York Giants 45–14 Washington Redskins FedExField CBS/NFLN
5 Thursday October 2 Minnesota Vikings 10–42 Green Bay Packers Lambeau Field CBS/NFLN
6 Thursday October 9 Indianapolis Colts 33–28 Houston Texans NRG Stadium CBS/NFLN
7 Thursday October 16 New York Jets 25–27 New England Patriots Gillette Stadium CBS/NFLN
8 Thursday October 23 San Diego Chargers 21–35 Denver Broncos Sports Authority Field at Mile High CBS/NFLN
9 Thursday October 30 New Orleans Saints 28–10 Carolina Panthers Bank of America Stadium NFLN
10 Thursday November 6 Cleveland Browns 24–3 Cincinnati Bengals Paul Brown Stadium NFLN
11 Thursday November 13 Buffalo Bills 9–22 Miami Dolphins Sun Life Stadium NFLN
12 Thursday November 20 Kansas City Chiefs 20–24 Oakland Raiders O.co Coliseum NFLN
14 Thursday December 4 Dallas Cowboys 41–28 Chicago Bears Soldier Field NFLN
15 Thursday December 11 Arizona Cardinals 12–6 St. Louis Rams Edward Jones Dome NFLN
16 Thursday December 18 Tennessee Titans 13–21 Jacksonville Jaguars EverBank Field NFLN
Saturday December 20 Philadelphia Eagles 24–27 Washington Redskins FedEx Field NFLN
Saturday December 20 San Diego Chargers 38–35 San Francisco 49ers Levi's Stadium CBS/NFLN

2015 season Edit

Week Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Host Team Stadium Network Game Notes
2 Thursday September 17 Denver Broncos 31–24 Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium CBS/NFLN
3 Thursday September 24 Washington Redskins 21–32 New York Giants MetLife Stadium CBS/NFLN
4 Thursday October 1 Baltimore Ravens 23–20 (OT) Pittsburgh Steelers Heinz Field CBS/NFLN
5 Thursday October 8 Indianapolis Colts 27–20 Houston Texans NRG Stadium CBS/NFLN
6 Thursday October 15 Atlanta Falcons 21–31 New Orleans Saints Mercedes-Benz Superdome CBS/NFLN
7 Thursday October 22 Seattle Seahawks 20–3 San Francisco 49ers Levi's Stadium CBS/NFLN
8 Thursday October 29 Miami Dolphins 7–36 New England Patriots Gillette Stadium CBS/NFLN
9 Thursday November 5 Cleveland Browns 10–31 Cincinnati Bengals Paul Brown Stadium NFLN
10 Thursday November 12 Buffalo Bills 22–17 New York Jets MetLife Stadium NFLN
11 Thursday November 19 Tennessee Titans 13–19 Jacksonville Jaguars EverBank Field NFLN
13 Thursday December 3 Green Bay Packers 27–23 Detroit Lions Ford Field CBS/NFLN
14 Thursday December 10 Minnesota Vikings 20–23 Arizona Cardinals University of Phoenix Stadium NFLN
15 Thursday December 17 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23–31 St. Louis Rams Edward Jones Dome NFLN
Saturday December 19 New York Jets 19–16 Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium NFLN
16 Thursday December 24 San Diego Chargers 20–23 (OT) Oakland Raiders O.co Coliseum NFLN
Saturday December 26 Washington Redskins 38–24 Philadelphia Eagles Lincoln Financial Field NFLN

2016 season Edit

For the 2016 and 2017 seasons, a new Thursday Night Football deal takes effect. Thursday Night Football is now an 18-game schedule with CBS broadcasting 5 games, NBC broadcasting 5 games, and the NFL Network simulcasting the whole season with 8 games exclusively. CBS Sports and NBC Sports will each produce 4 NFL Network-only games.[3]The NFL also sold the digital rights to the package separately to Twitter. Due to scheduling conflicts, NBC Sports had Mike Tirico team up with Cris Collinsworth for the Giants-Eagles game. Mike Tirico team up with Doug Flutie, & Tony Dungy also called Dolphins-Jets and Ravens-Steelers.

Week Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Host Team Stadium Network Game Notes
2 Thursday September 15 New York Jets 37–31 Buffalo Bills New Era Field CBS/NFLN
3 Thursday September 22 Houston Texans 0–27 New England Patriots Gillette Stadium CBS/NFLN
4 Thursday September 29 Miami Dolphins 7–22 Cincinnati Bengals Paul Brown Stadium NFLN
5 Thursday October 6 Arizona Cardinals 33–21 San Francisco 49ers Levi's Stadium CBS/NFLN
6 Thursday October 13 Denver Broncos 13–21 San Diego Chargers Qualcomm Stadium CBS/NFLN
7 Thursday October 20 Chicago Bears 10–26 Green Bay Packers Lambeau Field CBS/NFLN
Sunday October 23 New York Giants 17–10 Los Angeles Rams Twickenham Stadium NFLN Game played in London as part of the NFL International Series. Per NFL rules, the game was also simulcast on CBS in Los Angeles and CBS in New York.
8 Thursday October 27 Jacksonville Jaguars 22–36 Tennessee Titans Nissan Stadium NFLN
9 Thursday November 3 Atlanta Falcons 43–28 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Raymond James Stadium NFLN NBC Sports began producing this week.
10 Thursday November 10 Cleveland Browns 7–28 Baltimore Ravens M&T Bank Stadium NFLN The game was also simulcast on NBC in Cleveland and NBC in Baltimore.
11 Thursday November 17 New Orleans Saints 20–23 Carolina Panthers Bank of America Stadium NBC/NFLN
13 Thursday December 1 Dallas Cowboys 17–15 Minnesota Vikings U.S. Bank Stadium NBC/NFLN
14 Thursday December 8 Oakland Raiders 13–21 Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium NBC/NFLN
15 Thursday December 15 Los Angeles Rams 3–24 Seattle Seahawks CenturyLink Field NBC/NFLN
Saturday December 17 Miami Dolphins 34–13 New York Jets Metlife Stadium NFLN The game is also simulcast on NBC in Miami and NBC in East Rutherford. Tony Dungy after doing Football Night in New York, called the game with Mike Tirico and Doug Flutie.
16 Thursday December 22 New York Giants 19–24 Philadelphia Eagles Lincoln Financial Field NBC/NFLN
Saturday December 24 Cincinnati Bengals 10–12 Houston Texans NRG Stadium NFLN CBS Sports resumes production for this game only. Game is also simulcast on CBS in Houston and CBS in Cincinnati
Sunday December 25 Baltimore Ravens 27-31 Pittsburgh Steelers Heinz Field NFLN Christmas game

2017 Edit

2017 marked the second and final year of the NFL's Thursday Night Football contract with CBS and NBC, with Amazon replacing Twitter as the digital rights holder. Also, along with the change in digital viewing, it was announced that there will be 11 games simulcast between CBS, NBC, and NFL Network. While CBS keep the original 5 games, NBC will simulcast 6 games with NFL Network. Also, the change means that CBS will keep their 4 NFL Network-only games, while NBC will produce 3 NFL Network-only games, including a Week 15 Saturday Doubleheader. In addition, after being banned from TNF for a year, and as back up play-by-play for NBC, Mike Tirico will replace Al Michaels full time on Thursday Night games. Tirico was slated to be the new studio host, replacing Bob Costas, who would retire from many major jobs with the network, like the Olympics. He was also slated to be back up play-by-play announcer, replacing Michaels on various occasions. Al Michaels will now focus on Sunday Night games, while Mike Tirico will handle Thursday Nights with Cris Collinsworth or Kurt Warner.

Week Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Host Team Stadium Network Game Notes
2 Thursday September 14 Houston Texans 13–9 Cincinnati Bengals Paul Brown Stadium NFLN Game is also simulcast on KPRC-TV
3 Thursday September 21 Los Angeles Rams 41–39 San Francisco 49ers Levi's Stadium NFLN This became the highest scoring TNF game: also simulcast on KNBC and KNTV
4 Thursday September 28 Chicago Bears 14–35 Green Bay Packers Lambeau Field CBS/NFLN/Amazon Video
5 Thursday October 5 New England Patriots 19–14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Raymond James Stadium CBS/NFLN/Amazon Video
6 Thursday October 12 Philadelphia Eagles 28–23 Carolina Panthers Bank of America Stadium CBS/NFLN/Amazon Video
7 Thursday October 19 Kansas City Chiefs 30–31 Oakland Raiders Oakland Coliseum CBS/NFLN/Amazon Video
8 Thursday October 26 Miami Dolphins 0–40 Baltimore Ravens M&T Bank Stadium CBS/NFLN/Amazon Video Largest margin of victory on Thursday Night Football, since September 18, 2014. (ATL over TB, 56-14)
Sunday October 29 Minnesota Vikings 33–16 Cleveland Browns Twickenham Stadium NFLN Game played in London as part of the NFL International Series; Kickoff at 9:30 ET
9 Thursday November 2 Buffalo Bills 21–34 New York Jets MetLife Stadium NFLN
10 Thursday November 9 Seattle Seahawks 22–16 Arizona Cardinals University of Phoenix Stadium NBC/NFLN/Amazon Video
11 Thursday November 16 Tennessee Titans 17–4- Pittsburgh Steelers Heinz Field NBC/NFLN/Amazon Video
13 Thursday November 30 Washington Redskins 14–38 Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium NBC/NFLN/Amazon Video
14 Thursday December 7 New Orleans Saints 17–20 Atlanta Falcons Mercedes-Benz Stadium NBC/NFLN/Amazon Video
15 Thursday December 14 Denver Broncos 25–13 Indianapolis Colts Lucas Oil Stadium NBC/NFLN/Amazon Video
Saturday December 16 Chicago Bears 10–20 Detroit Lions Ford Field NFLN Kickoff at 4:30 ET; TNF Doubleheader. Features Kurt Warner as analyst with Mike Tirico doing play-by-play; simulcast on WDIV-TV and WMAQ-TV.
Saturday December 16 Los Angeles Chargers 13–30 Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium NFLN TNF Doubleheader with kickoff at 8:25 ET; CBS production with Greg Gumbel and Trent Green. Simulcast on KCAL-TV and KCTV.
16 Saturday December 23 Indianapolis Colts 16–23 Baltimore Ravens M&T Bank Stadium NFL Network Kickoff at 4:30 ET; CBS Production with Greg Gumbel and Trent Green.
Monday December 25 Pittsburgh Steelers 34–6 Houston Texans NRG Stadium NBC/NFLN/Amazon Video Kickoff at 4:30 ET; Mike Tirico and Kurt Warner will be on the call.

See also Edit

  • NFL on television
  • NBC Sunday Night Football
  • NBC Sunday Night Football results (2006–present)
  • Monday Night Football results (1970–1989)
  • Monday Night Football results (1990–2009)
  • Monday Night Football results (2010–present)
  • 2007 New England Patriots-New York Giants game
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