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The NFL season is in full swing, and Sunday night games are heating up. Here's who is playing football tonight and where you can watch it:
This weekend, there are a number of important games, including the Kansas City Chiefs versus Las Vegas Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers versus Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers-Ravens matchup will have significant playoff implications for both teams.
SNF has been the most watched program on American television this year, surpassing American Idol for three seasons in a row and ranking among the top five sports programs since its start. Furthermore, SNF boasts the highest average viewership of any national primetime NFL game since 2005 (see chart below).
In 1998, ESPN acquired the rights to broadcast all of the NFL's Sunday night games and began airing the entire schedule. This resulted in several back-to-back matches, particularly during late fall and early winter when there are typically more NFL playoff games than regular season ones.
As a result, the NFL began to flex its schedules to allow teams to play on alternate nights. For example, during 2010, Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles both played on SNF in one week - marking the first time ever that back-to-back nights were permitted by the league (though this practice is no longer common today).
For the 2011 season, both New Orleans Saints and Houston Texans played on SNF in the same week. These were the first teams to broadcast both regular season and playoff games on SNF simultaneously. The Saints defeated the Texans during the regular season before losing in the AFC Championship game of the playoffs.
SNF made history when they added Terry McAulay as their rules analyst in 2011. With experience as an NFL referee and multiple games on SNF under his belt, McAulay had worked several Super Bowls throughout his career.
In 2013, SNF broadcast a rematch of the Minneapolis Miracle game. This competition game was scheduled opposite Game 5 of the 2013 World Series between Houston Astros and Washington Nationals.
This game featured a rematch of the 2007 match, which attracted 16.6 million viewers and was deemed the most-watched non-World Series game of the season. Furthermore, its rating exceeded that of Game 4 of the 2012 World Series between Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox.
Thursday Night Football is an iconic part of America's beloved spectator sport, offering football fans the opportunity to witness all their favorite teams compete against one another on the gridiron. It's truly one of life's great rituals!
Thursdays are traditionally the only time of the week when NFL games can be watched free and in many bars and restaurants across America. But now the league has announced it will begin streaming its Thursday games through Amazon Prime Video, potentially creating a challenge for fans like Julie who may feel cheated out of watching their beloved team compete live.
According to a survey by digital media research company DISQO, only 12% of people are pleased that the league has switched over to streaming-only games on Thursday nights. However, half of those surveyed said they would still watch if given the option to do so.
The NFL is confident in their new model and NFL President Stephen Riethmiller says there won't be a negative impact on viewership from this change.
Riethmiller also believes younger fans are more likely to embrace the new model. According to a survey by DISQO, 50% of Gen Z, Millennial and Gen X viewers were willing to pay for streaming services for TNF games.
Dude Perfect, a group of YouTube personalities, will host an alternate stream for younger viewers. They'll provide live updates, postgame shows and game recaps.
On Wednesday, Amazon revealed that NBC's Terry McAulay would serve as the rules analyst for TNF games - a position he has held since 2018.
At present, TNF subscribers only have access to a streaming model. However, it could potentially become available for non-Prime members in the future as the NFL looks to make an announcement later this year about a deal with a digital platform to broadcast games.
On Saturday night, the NFL usually airs a game to give its viewers one last opportunity to catch some more action before turning their focus towards Sunday Night Football for the final slate of matches. This is done in order to avoid conflicts with high school and college games.
Historically, the NFL has used Saturday nights to highlight its top teams and players for maximum viewership. Therefore, few non-conference teams have appeared on Saturday nights in recent memory.
This has been in large part due to the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961, which prohibits broadcasting any NFL game on Friday nights and all day on Saturdays during the regular season. Nevertheless, there are exceptions allowed by this law.
In recent years, the NFL has significantly expanded its Thursday Night Football package and moved games that were previously on NFL Network to NBC's network. Furthermore, Thanksgiving Day matchups have been added to NBC's broadcast schedule and now average more than 3.2 million viewers each week.
Football Night in America was rebranded and joined forces with Thursday Night Kickoff for pregame coverage, to avoid the issues that have arisen in the past such as CBS affiliates simulcasting NFL games before their local primetime shows.
Due to this shift, Sunday mornings are now mostly free for feature programming such as Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! In fact, NBC is currently the number one network among Big Four networks for adults 18-49 ratings.
Recently, there have been several other changes to the Saturday night schedule. In 2010, an extra doubleheader was added on Week 16: NFL Network broadcasted the early game and CBS broadcasted the late one; this was a first for the network and proved popular with viewers.
In 2012, Thursday Night Football package was expanded from eight games to thirteen - giving viewers more television time for coverage of the sport. This expansion was part of a new contract between the NFL and NBC that was initially rejected by Turner Sports and Comcast.
Sunday Morning Football is an organized form of football played throughout the UK. It has become one of the most popular types of football, with over 900 Sunday leagues across the country - many becoming national clubs. Furthermore, Sunday Morning Football provides young people with a fun outlet and chance to make new friends.
In the early days of Sunday leagues, matches were usually organised by local amateur clubs and played on public grounds like parklands or open fields. These matches often took place on Saturday evenings but some even occurred on Sunday afternoons.
In the early to mid-1960s, there was an unprecedented explosion in Sunday leagues across Greater London. Along with Burton & District, Gloucester & District and Tameside, new leagues formed in Barnet & District, Coventry & District, Leamington Spa & District, Nuneaton & District, Sutton & District and Cheltenham & District; these include traditional Burton & District and Gloucester & District competitions as well.
Sunday football leagues were first proposed by young unemployed men in the 1920s, but it wasn't until World War II that the FA officially recognized Sunday football and allowed all leagues to become affiliated with County Associations. Edward "Teddy" Eden - a Councillor from Birmingham - spearheaded this movement and was an avid advocate for its acceptance by the FA. With his longstanding campaigning efforts, Eden helped get Sunday football accepted by the FA.
James Brown hosted the show for its initial few seasons, then moved to a remote location in Hollywood with guest analysts Curt Menefee, Jim Rome, Cris Collinsworth and Troy Aikman. Aikman left after 2002 season; Buck and Menefee took his place as hosts that year as well as later on.
In 2006, Fox broadcast an announcement that they were altering the format of their show and James Brown would be replaced by Joe Buck. Buck had hosted many NFL game broadcasts for them and was considered a natural host for the program; however, Menefee had been a staple on Fox pregame shows since the late 1990s.