NFL Network Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary (With Infographic)



“Your dreams have indeed come true.”

Rich Eisen, Premiere of NFL Total Access

 November 4, 2003

On November 4, 2003 at 8:00 PM ET, Rich Eisen christened a new era of sports television with one simple line: “Your dreams have indeed come true.” With that introduction, comprehensive coverage of the most popular sport in the United States was available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year through NFL Network.

Today, NFL Network celebrates its 10th Anniversary.  Now available  in more than 72 million homes, the Emmy Award-winning network is synonymous with Thursday Night Football and provides unprecedented coverage of the NFL’s most important events including the Super Bowl, NFL Scouting Combine, NFL Draft, Senior Bowl, Annual League Meetings, and NFL Preseason. Overall, in 2013, NFL Network will broadcast over 3,000 hours of live programming.

NFL Network has developed an impressive cast of on-air talent to match its breadth of football coverage.  Four Pro Football Hall of Famers, a plethora of former NFL players with a combined 19 Super Bowl Championships, and past front office executives & NFL scouts all complement an array of hosts and field reporters.

While many new faces have joined since the launch, Rich Eisen remains the face of NFL Network’s most notable events  including Thursday Night Football.

NFL Network 10th Anniversay Infographic

NFL Network Factoids

·         Media Group: NFL Network has evolved into NFL Media, comprising of NFL Network,, NFL Mobile, NFL RedZone, and NFL Films

·         NFL Total Access: Has been the flagship program since NFL Network launched. This season, the program returned to its original primetime slot for the first time since April 2004

·         Distribution: Available in more than 72 million homes, NFL Network debut in 11.5 million homes making it the most distributed sports network at launch.

·         Sports Emmy Awards: Has won 12 Sports Emmy Awards

·         Super Bowl Coverage: In 2013, Super Bowl had 140 hours of coverage; in 2004, first covered Super Bowl with 12 hours of coverage

·         Live Games: Has produced and aired over 70 NFL games

·         NFL Draft: Has covered the NFL Draft for eight years

·         Live Program Hours: Over 3,000 hours of live NFL coverage in 2013 – approximately 110% more than what was offered in 2003

·         NFL GameDay: Over 12 hours of coverage each NFL Sunday as part of NFL GameDay

·         NFL Honors: NFL Network, in conjunction with the NFL and broadcast partners, created NFL Honors in 2011. The annual event is held the Saturday evening before the Super Bowl and recognizes the best players and coaches from the current NFL season

·         Team Cams: Invented team cams – a permanent camera in each facility – which is now a standard practice in sports television

·         Kansas City Chiefs Dominance: When NFL Network debut in 2003, the Chiefs were the only remaining undefeated team at 8-0. Today, they are also the only remaining undefeated team at 9-0

NFL Network’s Firsts

·         On-Air Talent:

o   Rich Eisen, Seth Joyner & Ken Norton, Jr.

·         Debut of NFL Total Access

o   Host – Rich Eisen & Reporter – Kara Henderson.

·         Guest

o   NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue

·         Team Cam Guest

o   Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher

·         In-Studio Guest

o   Trent Green – Quarterback of the 8-0 Kansas City Chiefs during debut week

·         Super Bowl

o   Super Bowl XXXVIII – New England Patriots vs. Carolina Panthers

·         NFL Draft

o   2006 – First Pick, Houston Texans select Mario Williams

·         NFL Scouting Combine

o   2004 – Analysts Mike Mayock, Gil Brandt and host Bill Patrick

·         Game Broadcast

o   November 23, 2006 – Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs

o   Kansas City Chiefs won 19-10

o   First Thanksgiving Triple-header in NFL history

Most Viewed NFL Network Thursday Night Football Games


1.  November 24, 2011: San Francisco 49ers vs. Baltimore Ravens

o   12.3 million viewers

2.  December 19, 2009: Dallas Cowboys vs. New Orleans Saints

o   12.1 million viewers

3.  November 29, 2007: Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys

o   12 million viewers

4.  September 12, 2012: Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers

o   10.7 million viewers

5.  September 19, 2013: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles

o   9.4 million viewers

Timeline of Distribution Agreements

·         November, 2003 — DirecTV

·         December, 2004 — Adelphia

·         January, 2004 — Charter

·         August, 2004 — Comcast

·         March, 2004 — Insight Communications

·         April, 2005 — Cox

·         August, 2006 — Dish

·         July, 2006 — Verizon

·         August, 2012 — Cablevision

·         September, 2012 — Time Warner Cable & Charter

Notable NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football Moments

  • November  23, 2006: Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs

o   NFL Network’s first game

o   Kansas City Chiefs’ first Thanksgiving game

o   First triple-header on Thanksgiving in NFL history

  • December 7, 2006:  Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

o   Pittsburgh Steelers running back Willie Parker rushes for 223 yards, breaking a 36-year old Steeler record set by John “Frenchy” Fuqua

  • December 30, 2006: New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins

o   New York Giants running back Tiki Barber sets club record with 234 rushing yards in final regular season game

  • November 29, 2007: Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers

o   First matchup of 10-1 teams in 17 years

o   Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers replaces an injured quarterback Brett Favre and throws first career touchdown pass

o   Game earns 14.6 coverage area rating – highest rating on ad-supported cable since November 1993

o   Had nearly 2 million “live look-in” streams on

  • December 29, 2007: New England Patriots vs. New York Giants

o   New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady passes for 356 yards and two touchdowns as Patriots become first NFL team to complete 16-0 regular season

o   Game watched by 34.5 million viewers on NFL Network, CBS and NBC – most-watched regular season game in 12 years

  • December 4, 2008: Oakland Raiders vs. San Diego Chargers

o   San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson passes Marshall Faulk for 5th on the all-time touchdown list (137)

  • December 20, 2008: Baltimore Ravens vs. Dallas Cowboys

o   Last game at Texas Stadium for Dallas Cowboys

  • December 3, 2009: New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills

o   NFL Network’s first international live telecast


  • December 19, 2009: New Orleans Saints vs. Dallas Cowboys

o   Drew Brees records fourth straight 4,000-yard season, joining Peyton Manning as the only two players in NFL history to accomplish the feat.

  • November 11, 2010: Baltimore Ravens vs. Atlanta Falcons

o   NFL Network analyst and Hall of Famer Deion Sanders is inducted into Falcons ring of honor

  • December 2, 2010: Houston Texans vs. Philadelphia Eagles

o   Philadelphia Eagles kicker David Akers sets a new franchise record of 184 games played, passing  Brian Dawkins

  • November 24, 2011: San Francisco 49ers vs. Baltimore Ravens

o   Highest rated game in NFL Network history

  • September 13, 2012: Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers

o   Kicks off first 13-game Thursday Night Football schedule

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