NFL Sunday – Sunday Night Football

NFL Sunday – Sunday Night Football, presently known as NBC Sunday Night Football, is a weekly television broadcast of the National Football League (NFL). Starting in 2006, NBC took over the rights to Sunday prime time games to watch NFL Sunday football. From 1987 to 2005, NFL Sunday Night was hosted by ESPN. Currently, ESPN owns the rights to Monday Night Football, which was taken from NBC’s sister station, ABC. 

As of 2020, play-by-play is conducted by Al Michaels, while Cris Collinsworth serves as the color commentator. Michele Tafoya serves as the sideline reporter. Upon NBC’s ownership of Sunday Night Football, Fred Gaudelli and Drew Escocoff joined SNF as the show’s lead producer and director respectively. 

History Of NFL Sunday Night Football

ABC began airing the occasional NFL Sunday Night Football game in 1978, but it was nearly a decade later that ESPN decided to conduct a Sunday Night Football game. During the 1987 season, ESPN Sunday Night NFL was born. At the time, the broadcast booth consisted of Mike Patrick, Roy Firestone, and a “weekly guest color commentator.” After one season, Joe Theismann took over as lead analyst. 

After seeing the success rise, ESPN began to broadcast the entire schedule of Sunday night games. In 1998, ESPN rebranded NFL Sunday night as ESPN Sunday Night Football. At the time, ESPN had exclusive rights to any night game, besides the season opener, and regular Monday Night Football games, which was broadcasted on ABC. 

Fans watched NFL Sunday with Patrick, Theismann, and Paul Maguire as the hosts. Starting in 1999, Suzy Kolber served as the sideline reporter. Three years later, ESPN’s Sunday Night Football team began to cover the new Thursday night opening kickoff game. 


In 2004, Pat Summerall replaced Patrick, who had open heart-surgery, but his presence for NFL Sunday nights was cut short. After the 2005 season, ESPN ended their package and elected to run with Monday Night Football exclusively. NBC picked up the rights to NFL Sunday Night and has been broadcasting nightly football games ever since. 

NFL Sunday Night Football Ratings

After NBC elected to broadcast NFL Sunday Night Football, the network opened their adventure with a rating of 11.0 according to the Nielsen Ratings. NFL Sunday didn’t bring in over 20 million viewers until the 2010 season. Through the first four weeks of the season, NBC NFL Sunday Night brought in nearly 23 million viewers. From 2010-2020, the network has brought in over 20 million viewers all but one season. In 2016, Sunday Night Football brought in the most with a total of 28.7 million viewers and a Neilsen rating of 18.3. The following season in 2017, the total viewers were down by 10 million, but the Nilsen rating rose to 18.4. 

NFL Sunday In Comparison To NFL Thursday

In comparison to Sunday Night Football, NFL games on Thursday Night Football, are significantly lower rated on nationally televised networks. Critics have gone as far to say that the games televised on Thursdays are lower quality compared to prime-time games. Games on Thursdays typically feature teams that are less performing or borderline average. Not to mention, fans are not drawn to NFL Network compared to networks such as CBS, FOX, ABC, or NBC. 

However, Thursday Night Football improved its ratings when CBS bought rights to stream NFL Thursday games. In 2013, CBS featured an audience share of 13.7 and had nearly 21 million total viewers, which was a significant increase compared to the past. 

The reception for football on Thursdays is not well taken by NFL players. Players such as Richard Sherman and J.J. Watt has publicly criticized games due to the problems with the NFL schedule. Normally, an NFL team would get a week to prepare for their next match. If a game is played on Thursday, a team gets just three days of rest/preparation. All in all, Sunday Night Football brings in a higher audience. 

Streaming Options

If you are someone that does not have a cable package, never fear because there are options out there for you to get your Sunday Night Football score. Down below are a few options that you can use that will get you access to NFL Sunday Night Football. 

NFL Game Pass

Game Pass is a streaming service that allows you to watch replays, not NFL live streams, of every NFL game from Sunday. NFL Game Pass includes games that were taken out by local blackouts. In most circumstances, this costs $99.99 for a full season, but it can be a $50 add-on if you purchase NFL Sunday Ticket.

NFL Sunday Ticket.TV

This option costs $73.99 per month for four months. It includes everything that you would want for NFL Sunday. The subscription is online-only, but your NFL games are available to stream from any device that connects to the Internet. Plus, for an additional cost, you can access NFL RedZone to keep up with all the NFL scores from the earlier games. 

YouTube TV

This is one of the better comprehensive packages for NFL Sunday Night Football. With YouTube TV, you can access every channel that you would like to live stream a game. It’s one of the most expensive options at $64.99 per month, but it’s one of the few options that you can package NFL Redzone for an additional $10.99 per month.

Hulu Live

Hulu offers all the Sunday Night Football games each week when you subscribe to Hulu and Hulu TV. The normal package features NBC, which is needed for NFL Sunday. Hulu costs $55 per month, but you can upgrade to $60 per month if you wish to have no commercials. 

Fubo TV

If you don’t care about watching Thursday Night Football or NFL Thursday, then going with Hulu Live is the better option. However, if you are an NFL fan that wants everything, then FuboTV is the best bang for your buck. At $64.99 each month, you will have access to NBC, ESPN and the NFL Network. For an extra fee, you can watch RedZone too. However, Fubo TV does not have access to ABC, but that won’t be an issue in the playoffs as all the night games will be on NBC. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sunday Night Football free?

The answer is no because since it is broadcasted on NBC, you will need a subscription that accesses this channel. 

What is the best choice to watch NFL Sunday?

If it comes down to price, Hulu Live and Fubo TV are the best choices. If you are wanting to add RedZone to your subscription, FuboTV is the better option. 

What football games are left for Sunday Night Football?

On Week 9, Drew Brees and the Saints will take on Tom Brady and the Bucs. The Bears and Packers play the last week of November, while Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs play at least two more times.