Press release from NBC, April 19, 2018:
NBC Sunday Night Football, America’s No. 1 primetime television show for a record seven consecutive years, gets “Back to Football” broadcasting 19 NFL games during the 2018 regular season. It all begins with the Philadelphia Eagles raising their first-ever Super Bowl banner at NFL Kickoff 2018 on Thursday, Sept. 6 as they host the Atlanta Falcons in a Divisional Playoff rematch. Then it’s the season opener of Sunday Night Football at Lambeau Field on Sunday, Sept. 9 as Aaron Rodgers leads the Green Bay Packers in the first game of their historic 100th season against the rival Chicago Bears. NBC Sunday Night Football will have a new, earlier kickoff time of 8:20 p.m. ET – 10 minutes earlier than last year.
The star-studded SNF matchups continue in Week 2 as Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys host Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr. and the New York Giants. The Sept. 16 Giants-Cowboys game marks the 12th meeting between the clubs on SNF – tying with Cowboys-Eagles (Nov. 11) as the most-played matchup in NBC SNF history (since 2006). The Sept. 16 contest also marks the fourth Cowboys’ home opener in the past six years on NBC SNF.
In addition to kicking off the 2018 NFL season, NBC will also broadcast a Divisional Playoff game on the weekend of January 12-13, and a Wild Card Playoff game on the January 5-6 weekend.
Highlights of the 2018 Sunday Night Football schedule:
- Every 2017 division winner makes an appearance on Sunday Night Football; 14 of NBC’s 18 scheduled games (Week 17 game TBD) involve at least one playoff team from last season, highlighted by rematches of three Divisional Playoff games (Falcons-Eagles on Sept. 6; Saints-Vikings on Oct. 28; and Steelers-Jaguars on Nov. 18). Last year’s New Orleans-Minnesota NFC Divisional Playoff became known as the “Minnesota Miracle” after Vikings WR Stefon Diggs’ 61-yard catch-and-run as time expired marked the first postseason game in NFL history to end with a winning touchdown on the final play of the fourth quarter.
- Three games each for the Eagles, Patriots, Steelers, Cowboys, and Packers;
- Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, winners of a combined five NFL MVP awards, meet for only the second time on Nov. 4 when the Patriots host the Packers. In the first matchup on Nov. 30, 2014, the quarterbacks combined for 613 passing yards and four touchdowns in a five-point Green Bay victory;
- Other notable matchups: Dak Prescott and the Cowboys visit Deshaun Watson and the Texans in a faceoff of dynamic quarterbacks on Oct. 7; Jimmy Garoppolo (7-0 as a starter in his NFL career) and the 49ers host Jared Goff and the division champion Los Angeles Rams in an NFC West clash on Oct. 21; 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman returns to Seattle to face his former Seahawks teammates on Dec. 2; and on Dec. 16, Goff and Eagles QB Carson Wentz meet in a rematch of 2017’s regular-season “game of the year” (Philadelphia came back to win 43-35 in the fourth quarter) as the Rams host the Eagles;
- On the coaching front, new Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia, who spent the last 14 seasons as an assistant coach with New England, plays host to Bill Belichick and the Patriots on Sept. 23; and new/old Raiders head coach Jon Gruden faces Mike Tomlin for the first time as Pittsburgh visits Oakland on Dec. 9;
- Two big NFC games Thanksgiving weekend – a pair of 2017 NFC South playoff teams meet as the Saints host the Falcons in the first-ever NFL Thanksgiving game in New Orleans; and on Sun., Nov. 25 new Vikings QB Kirk Cousins hosts Aaron Rodgers and the Packers for the first time in a Minnesota uniform;
- Matchup milestones: Cowboys-Eagles on Nov. 11 marks the 10th consecutive season for the matchup on SNF – the longest streak for any matchup on the broadcast primetime package in NFL history (ABC 1970-2005; NBC 2006-present). Ravens-Steelers on Sept. 30 ranks as the most-played AFC matchup on NBC SNF (8th meeting).
NBC TO BROADCAST 23 NFL GAMES IN 2018: As part of the agreement NBC signed with the NFL in December 2011, NBC, will broadcast 19 regular-season games, including 17 regular-season Sunday Night Football games, NFL Kickoff 2018, and the annual Thanksgiving night game. NBC’s original Sunday Night Football agreement, which began in 2006, included 17 regular-season games. It was increased to 18 games in 2010. In the preseason, NBC will televise the NFL Hall of Fame Game (Bears-Ravens) in primetime on Thursday, Aug. 2, and Cardinals-Cowboys on Sunday night, Aug. 26.
NBCSPORTS.COM & NBC SPORTS APP TO LIVE STREAM ALL NBC NFL GAMES: NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app will stream all NBC games to desktops, mobile, tablets, and connected TVs via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value to their subscription service, and making high-quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms. The full HD-quality video stream will come directly from NBC’s broadcasts. Powered by Playmaker Media, the NBC Sports app is available on Apple iOS, Android and select Samsung devices, as well as on Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Win10, and Xbox.
SNF ON PACE TO BE TELEVISION’S NO. 1 PRIMETIME SHOW FOR RECORD 7TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR: NBC concluded its 12th season of Sunday Night Football in 2017 with its most-dominant performance ever in average viewership and household rating vs. its competition, while pacing to finish as primetime’s #1 TV show in all key metrics for a record seventh consecutive year – which will break its tie with American Idol for the most consecutive years atop the charts (since 1950), based on live plus same day data provided by The Nielsen Company.
2018 NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Thurs. Sept. 6 NFL Kickoff Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles
Sun. Sept. 9 Week 1 Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
Sun. Sept. 16 Week 2 New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
Sun. Sept. 23 Week 3 New England Patriots at Detroit Lions
Sun. Sept. 30 Week 4 Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
*Sun. Oct. 7 Week 5 Dallas Cowboys at Houston Texans
*Sun. Oct. 14 Week 6 Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots
*Sun. Oct. 21 Week 7 Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers
*Sun. Oct. 28 Week 8 New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings
*Sun. Nov. 4 Week 9 Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots
*Sun. Nov. 11 Week 10 Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
*Sun. Nov. 18 Week 11 Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars
**Thurs. Nov. 22 Week 12 Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints
*Sun. Nov. 25 Week 12 Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
*Sun. Dec. 2 Week 13 San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
*Sun. Dec. 9 Week 14 Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders
*Sun. Dec. 16 Week 15 Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams
*Sun. Dec. 23 Week 16 Kansas City Chiefs at Seattle Seahawks
*Sun. Dec. 30 Week 17 TBD
** Thanksgiving Night Game
FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING: Flexible scheduling will be used in Weeks 11-17. Additionally, in Weeks 5-10, flexible scheduling may be used in no more than two weeks. In Weeks 5-16, 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 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 December 30. 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.