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Thursday Night Football and Its Impact on the NFL

Thursday night football has become a staple in the NFL schedule, providing fans with an additional night of football during the regular season. This guide will explore the history of Thursday Night Football, its impact on the NFL and its fans, and some memorable moments from Thursday Night games.

History of Thursday Night Football

Amazon/ Getty Images | Thursday Night Football has been an up-and-down adventure ride since its debut in 2006

Thursday night football was first introduced in 2006 as part of the NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football package. The games were initially only available on the NFL Network, which was not widely available then. However, the popularity of Thursday night football grew quickly, and in 2012, the NFL struck a deal with CBS to broadcast some Thursday night games.

In 2014, the NFL expanded the Thursday night package to include games on CBS and NBC, and in 2018, Fox also began broadcasting Thursday night games. Under the NFL’s current broadcasting agreements, it was revealed in 2021 that Amazon had purchased the exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football beginning with the 2023 season.

This was the first time the NFL sold one of its primary television packages to a digital media business. The last season of the current contract was given to Amazon by NFL Network and Fox, and as a result, its coverage began in 2022. As before, all games are broadcast on local broadcast television stations in the markets of the opposing teams and streamed for free on Twitch, following NFL regulations.

Impact on the NFL and Fans

Chase Goodbread/ NFL | Since the beginning of the 2022/2023 season, Thursday Night Football has been exclusively broadcast on Amazon

Thursday night football has significantly impacted the NFL and its fans. For the NFL, Thursday night games provide an additional night of prime-time football, which generates more revenue for the league. Thursday night games also allow teams to showcase their skills on a national stage.

For fans, Thursday night football offers an additional night of football during the regular season. Many fans enjoy the excitement of a mid-week game, and Thursday night games are often high-scoring and entertaining. Thursday night games also allow fans to watch their favorite team play in a prime-time game.

Memorable Moments

There have been many memorable moments from Thursday night football games. In 2007, the Dallas Cowboys played the Green Bay Packers in a game dubbed the “Tony Romo game.” Romo, the Cowboys quarterback, fumbled the snap on what would have been the game-winning field goal attempt, allowing the Packers to win the game.

LILY HERNANDEZ/ PRIME VIDEO | Some football purists may feel NFL games on Thursday nights are deviating from the traditional experience of Sunday football action

In 2010, the Baltimore Ravens played the Pittsburgh Steelers in a hard-fought game that ended with a controversial call. With the game tied at 10-10, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw a pass to receiver TJ Houshmandzadeh in the end zone. Houshmandzadeh appeared to catch the ball, but the officials ruled it incomplete, giving the Steelers the win.

In 2012, the Seattle Seahawks played the Green Bay Packers in a game that ended in controversy. With the Seahawks down 12-7 and only seconds remaining in the game, quarterback Russell Wilson threw a Hail Mary pass to receiver Golden Tate. Tate appeared to push a Packers defender out of the way and catch the ball, but the officials ruled that he had simultaneous possession with the defender, giving the Seahawks the win.

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