NBC Announces 2016 “Sunday Night Football” & “Thursday Night Football” Schedules
NBC, the only network with two primetime NFL packages — featuring Sunday Night Football, America’s No. 1 primetime television show for five consecutive years, and for the first time Thursday Night Football — will broadcast 24 NFL games during the 2016 regular season.
NBC’s schedule kicks off with a blockbuster Kickoff Weekend featuring all four teams from last season’s AFC and NFC Championship Games. First, in NFL Kickoff 2016 on Thursday, Sept. 8, it’s a Super Bowl 50 rematch as Super Bowl MVP Von Miller and the champion Denver Broncos host NFL MVP Cam Newton and the NFC Champion Carolina Panthers. Panthers-Broncos marks the first Week 1 Super Bowl rematch since 1970 (Vikings beat Chiefs 27-10 in Minnesota eight months after a 23-7 loss to Kansas City in Super Bowl IV).
In the Sunday Night Football opener on Sept. 11, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots return to University of Phoenix Stadium – site of their February 2015 Super Bowl victory – to face Carson Palmer and the NFC West champion Arizona Cardinals.
The Patriots return to NBC on Sunday, Nov. 13, to host Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in a rematch of their Super Bowl XLIX thriller, which was televised by NBC and is the most-watched show in U.S. television history (114.4 million viewers).
Later that week, NBC kicks off its Thursday Night Football slate on Nov. 17 as Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints visit the NFC Champion Carolina Panthers. The Nov. 17 matchup is the start of NBC’s six consecutive Thursdays with primetime NFL games and is followed by Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts on Thanksgiving night; the Tony Romo-led Dallas Cowboys at Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings on Thurs., Dec. 1; and wraps up with Eli Manning and the New York Giants visiting Sam Bradford and the division rival Philadelphia Eagles on Thurs., Dec. 22.
In addition to kicking off the 2016 NFL season, NBC will broadcast a Divisional Playoff game on the weekend of January 14-15, and a Wild Card Playoff game on the January 7-8 weekend.
Highlights of NBC’s 2016 Sunday Night Football & Thursday Night Football schedules
- 24 primetime regular-season games, including 17 SNF games, the NFL’s opening game of the season NFL Kickoff 2016, the NBC’s annual Thanksgiving night game, and five new Thursday night games;
- Every 2015 playoff team makes an appearance on Sunday Night Football; 19 of NBC’s 23 scheduled regular-season games (Week 17 game TBD) involve at least one playoff team from last season; 10 of SNF’s 18 scheduled games include two playoff teams – including four playoff rematches (Panthers-Broncos on Sept. 8; Packers-Redskins on Nov. 20; Panthers-Seahawks on Dec. 4; and Steelers-Bengals on Dec. 18);
- Four NBC games each for Seahawks and Cowboys; three NBC games apiece for Broncos, Patriots, Panthers, Packers, Steelers, Giants, and Chiefs;
- High-profile NFC East matchups continue on NBC – Eagles-Cowboys (Sun., Oct. 30) on SNF for the eighth consecutive season – the longest streak of matchups on the broadcast primetime package in NFL history (ABC 1970-2005; NBC 2006-present); Giants-Cowboys (Sun., Dec. 11) on SNF for the seventh time in six seasons; and Giants-Eagles (Thurs., Dec. 22) on NBC for the eighth time in 10 seasons;
- NBC will open Minnesota’s new U.S. Bank Stadium in Week 2 (Sun. Sept. 18), as the Vikings host Aaron Rodgers and the NFC North rival Green Bay Packers. This will be the fourth stadium to debut on NBC’s Sunday Night Football in the last eight years (Lucas Oil Stadium in 2008, AT&T Stadium in 2009, Levi’s Stadium in 2014);
- The Oakland Raiders host their first-ever NBC SNF game, facing the Super Bowl champion Broncos on Sun., Nov. 6. It will be Oakland’s first SNF appearance since the series’ inaugural season in 2006 (at Denver, 10/15/06).
NBC TO BROADCAST 28 NFL GAMES IN 2016: NBC begins its 11th consecutive season as the primetime broadcast home of the NFL. In the 2016 season, NBC will broadcast 28 NFL games — 19 regular-season games as part of its Sunday Night Football package (17 regular-season SNF games, NFL Kickoff 2016, and the annual Thanksgiving night game), five primetime regular-season Thursday games as part of a new two-year agreement to televise Thursday Night Football, two NFL Playoff games, and two primetime preseason games. NBC Sports will also produce four games to be televised on NFL Network.
NBC Sports Digital will live stream all NBC NFL games to desktops, tablets and connected TVs via NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Sports’ “TV Everywhere” live streaming product. The full HD-quality video stream will come directly from NBC’s broadcast. For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire. (NOTE: NBC Sports Digital does not have NFL live streaming rights to mobile devices.)
SNF IS NO. 1 PRIMETIME PROGRAM ON TELEVISION: In 2015, Sunday Night Football completed its 10th season on NBC averaging 22.5 million viewers which is the best ever for SNF on NBC and the highest viewership for the NFL’s premier primetime package in 19 years. The record-setting season puts Sunday Night Football on pace to be primetime’s #1 show for the fifth consecutive full TV season – a feat accomplished by only three other TV shows since 1950. Sunday Night Football also is on pace to rank No. 1 among Adults 18-49 for the sixth consecutive full TV season (September-May, based on Nielsen live plus same day data).
2016 NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Thurs. Sept. 8 NFL Kickoff Carolina Panthers at Denver Broncos
Sun. Sept. 11 Week 1 New England Patriots at Arizona Cardinals
Sun. Sept. 18 Week 2 Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
Sun. Sept. 25 Week 3 Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys
Sun. Oct. 2 Week 4 Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers
*Sun. Oct. 9 Week 5 New York Giants at Green Bay Packers
*Sun. Oct. 16 Week 6 Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans
*Sun. Oct. 23 Week 7 Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
*Sun. Oct. 30 Week 8 Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
*Sun. Nov. 6 Week 9 Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders
*Sun. Nov. 13 Week 10 Seattle Seahawks at New England Patriots
*Sun. Nov. 20 Week 11 Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins
**Thurs. Nov. 24 Week 12 Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts
*Sun. Nov. 27 Week 12 New England Patriots at New York Jets
*Sun. Dec. 4 Week 13 Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks
*Sun. Dec. 11 Week 14 Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants
*Sun. Dec. 18 Week 15 Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
Sun. Dec. 25 Week 16 Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
*Sun. Jan. 1 Week 17 TBD
** Thanksgiving Night Game
2016 NBC THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Thurs. Nov. 17 Week 11 New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers
Thurs. Dec. 1 Week 13 Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings
Thurs. Dec. 8 Week 14 Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
Thurs. Dec. 15 Week 15 Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks
Thurs. Dec. 22 Week 16 New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING: Flexible scheduling will be used in Weeks 10-15 and 17. Additionally, in Weeks 5-9, flexible scheduling may be used in no more than two weeks. In Weeks 5-15, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday or Monday nights.
A flexible scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to January 1. The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17, but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot. Flexible scheduling ensures quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and gives “surprise” teams a chance to play their way into prime time.