Thursday Night Football
Thursday Night Football (often abbreviated as TNF) 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 8:15 Eastern Time (8:20 prior to 2022).
|Thursday Night Football|
|Also known as||TNF|
|Genre||NFL football telecasts|
|Presented by||Al Michaels|
|Theme music composer||Pinar Toprak|
|Opening theme||"Prime Video Sports Theme"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||16 (on NFL Network)|
5 (on Amazon Prime Video/Twitch)
|No. of episodes||16 per season (15 regular season, 1 preseason) (list of episodes)|
|Production locations||Various NFL stadiums|
|Running time||180 minutes or until game ends (inc. adverts)|
|Production companies||National Football League|
Prime Video Originals (2017–present)
|Original network||NFL Network (2006–2021)|
Prime Video (2022–present)
|Original release||November 23, 2006 –|
|NFL Network Special|
In the past, games in the package also air occasionally on Saturdays in the later portion of the season, as well as select games from the NFL International Series (these games were 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.
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 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 rights shifted to Fox, through the 2022 season.
In 2016, the NFL also began to sub-license digital streaming rights to the broadcast television portion of the package to third-parties, beginning with Twitter in 2016, and Amazon in 2017—initially on Prime Video, and later being carried freely on Amazon-owned live streaming platform Twitch.
In 2021, it was announced that Amazon had acquired the exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football beginning in the 2023 season under the NFL's new broadcasting deals, marking the first time that the NFL had sold one of its main television packages to a digital media company. NFL Network and Fox ceded the final season of the existing contract to Amazon, resulting in its coverage launching in 2022. As before, all of the games are also streamed for free on Twitch, and aired on local broadcast television stations in the markets of the opposing teams as per NFL rules.
As with all other nationally televised games, they are also carried on radio as part of the NFL on Westwood One Sports package.