NFL Kick Off Game on NBC Marks 200th Regular Season Game for SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
When NBC Sports presents the AFC West-champion Kansas City Chiefs at the Super Bowl-champion New England Patriots in the NFL Kickoff game next Thursday, Sept. 7, it will mark the 200th regular-season game in the NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL package (includes Thanksgiving night and NFL Kickoff games). The 2006 NFL Kickoff game (Pittsburgh's 28-17 win over Miami on Sept. 7, 2006) was the first NBC regular-season primetime telecast in the SNF package, while Green Bay's division title-clinching 31-24 victory over Detroit on Jan. 1, 2017 was Game #199.
The last six years of NBC's SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL have been history-making, as SNF has been primetime TV's No. 1 show for a record six consecutive seasons - tying AMERICAN IDOL for the most consecutive years atop the charts (since 1950), based on live plus same day data provided by The Nielsen Company. Prior to 2011, a sports series had never been primetime television's top show for a full season.
Twenty three (23) games in the NBC SNF package have topped 25 million viewers (all since 2010) - more than triple the rest of regularly-scheduled primetime TV shows (six) in that span (since Sept. 9, 2010).
Following is a year-by-year and statistical look back at the first 199 games of NBC's Sunday Night Football:
NBC's SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL - A Timeline of the First 199 Games
Sept. 7, 2006 - NFL Kickoff 2006: Miami at Pittsburgh - NBC's first regular-season game since 1997 season.
Sept. 10, 2006 - NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL opener - Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Giants in first-ever meeting between Peyton and Eli Manning, a 26-21 Colts victory.
Nov. 19, 2006 - First ever NFL "flex scheduling" - Chargers at Broncos moves to primetime in Week 11 of NBC's SNF.
Dec. 9, 2007 - Indianapolis QB Peyton Manning throws 300th career TD pass in the Colts' Week 14 SNF win over the Baltimore Ravens.
Sept. 4, 2008 - NFL Kickoff game on NBC (Redskins-Giants) begins at 7 p.m. ET - 90 minutes earlier than the start time of the traditional season opener due to the Republican National Convention, which NBC News covers following the conclusion of the game.
Oct. 19, 2008 - Al Michaels & Cris Collinsworth work their first game together - Seahawks at Bucs on SNF, giving John Madden a week off from cross-country travel.
Nov. 16, 2009 - Colts remain unbeaten at 9-0 after coming back from 17 points behind to defeat Patriots 35-34 in a game known for New England's decision to go for a first down on 4th & 2 from its own 28-yard line with 2:08 remaining in the fourth quarter. Patriots came up short. Four plays later, Peyton Manning throws the game-winning TD pass to Reggie Wayne.
Oct. 31, 2010 - NBC televises its first SNF game on same night as WORLD SERIES game. Steelers-Saints averages 18.1 million viewers on NBC, while Giants-Rangers WS Game 4 averages 15.5 million viewers on FOX. It was the first time that a primetime NFL regular-season game topped a WORLD SERIES game on the same night.
Dec. 28, 2010 - NBC televises Vikings-Eagles SNF game on Tuesday, Dec. 28, due to a blizzard in Philadelphia on Sunday, Dec. 26. It was the first NFL game played on a Tuesday since 1946 (New York Giants vs. Boston Yanks, 10/1/46). Vikings-Eagles averaged 23.7 million viewers.
Sept. 8, 2011 - Four NBCUniversal networks - VERSUS, USA, Syfy and G4 - carry opening hour of NFL Kickoff 2011 pregame show (leading into Saints-Packers) in place of NBC, which covers speech by President Barack Obama.
Sept. 5, 2012 - NBC televises NFL Kickoff game (Cowboys-Giants) on a Wednesday night, avoiding the 2012 Democratic National Convention, where President Barack Obama accepts party's nomination in a Thursday night speech. It was the first NFL game played on a Wednesday since 1948 (L.A. Rams-Detroit Lions, 9/22/48).
Sept. 9, 2012 - In his first game with the Denver Broncos (in the SNF season opener), QB Peyton Manning throws his 400th career TD pass (vs. Pittsburgh).
Oct. 7, 2012 - New Orleans QB Drew Brees throws TD pass in NFL-record 48th consecutive game, breaking Johnny Unitas' 52-year old mark (47) in a Week 5 Chargers-Saints SNF game.
Nov. 22, 2012 - A new tradition begins with NBC's first-ever NFL PRIMETIME game on Thanksgiving (New England at N.Y. Jets). This game is also known for the Jets' second quarter "butt fumble" which the Patriots returned for a TD.
Dec. 30, 2012 - The Week 17 NFC East championship "win-and-in" game between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins is the most-watched regular-season Sunday night game in NFL history (30.3 million viewers).
Sept. 5, 2013 - In the NFL Kickoff game, Denver's Peyton Manning throws 7 TD passes vs. Baltimore, tying an NFL record which had last been matched in 1969.
Sept. 15, 2013 - Despite a 60-minute, first-quarter weather delay, the Week 2 San Francisco-Seattle SNF matchup was the most-watched primetime NFL game between West Coast teams in 18 years (20.5 million viewers).
Oct. 20, 2013 - Broncos QB Peyton Manning's (Week 7 SNF) return to Indianapolis, where he played 13 seasons for the Colts, averaged 26.9 million viewers, ranking as the most-watched October NFL PRIMETIME telecast in 21 years.
Nov. 24, 2013 - It was Brady-Manning XIV on SNF in Week 12, as Tom Brady led the Patriots' biggest comeback victory ever (from 24 points behind) in defeating Peyton Manning and the Broncos, 34-31, in overtime.
Oct. 19, 2014 - Broncos QB Peyton Manning throws 509th TD pass in a win over the 49ers on SNF in Week 7, breaking Brett Favre's NFL career record.
Sept. 10, 2015 - Tom Brady sets the NFL record for most regular-season wins by a QB with one team (161) in Patriots' NFL Kickoff game win over Steelers.
Oct. 4, 2015 - Saints QB Drew Brees throws 400th career touchdown pass in Week 4 SNF victory over Cowboys. Brees' milestone TD pass is an 80-yarder to win the game 13 seconds into OT - the quickest regular-season overtime victory in NFL history.
Nov. 1, 2015 - The 6-0 Green Bay Packers visit the 6-0 Denver Broncos on SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL in the first-ever primetime game featuring opponents with records of 6-0 or better.
Nov. 26, 2015 - The most-watched Thanksgiving primetime game in NFL history (27.8 million viewers for Bears-Packers) features Brett Favre's "Ring of Honor" halftime ceremony, with a special appearance from Packers legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Bart Starr.
Nov. 27, 2016 - Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill scores three touchdowns in Week 12 SNF victory over Denver - becoming the first player since Hall of Famer Gale Sayers in 1965 to score by reception, return and rush in a game.
Jan. 1, 2017 - Lions QB Matthew Stafford reaches 30,000 career passing yards faster than any player in NFL history (109 games) in a Week 17 SNF loss to Green Bay. Hall of Famers Dan Marino and Kurt Warner held the prior mark (114 games).