NEW YORK -- NBC will broadcast 19 primetime NFL games during the 2013 season, highlighted by: Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos hosting the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens on NFL Kickoff 2013 on Thursday, September 5; a classic NFC East rivalry as the Dallas Cowboys host the New York Giants in the opening Sunday Night Football game on September 8; Manning returning home to Indianapolis to take on Andrew Luck and the Colts; and NBC's annual Thanksgiving night game, featuring the heated AFC North rivalry Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens.
MARK LAZARUS, CHAIRMAN, NBC SPORTS GROUP:
"The NFL continues to be the most powerful content in the sports and entertainment universe, and we are poised for another exciting season of Sunday Night Football, once again the No. 1 show in primetime television."
Highlights of the 2013 Sunday Night Football schedule:
• 19 primetime games, including the NFL's opening game of the season, NFL Kickoff 2013 and NBC's annual Thanksgiving night game;
• Every 2012 playoff team makes an appearance on Sunday Night Football; 16 of NBC's 18 scheduled games involve at least one playoff team from last season; 10 of 18 include two playoff teams (Week 17 game TBD);
• Three games each for the Ravens, Broncos, Patriots, Steelers, Packers, Giants, Cowboys;
• The Ravens host the Steelers on NBC's annual Thanksgiving night game. NBC will broadcast a Thanksgiving night game each season through 2022;
• Peyton Manning goes home to Indianapolis to take on Andrew Luck and the Colts in Week 7. Manning vs. Tom Brady as the Patriots host the Broncos in Week 12;
• Three matchups among bitter NFC East rivals: Giants-Cowboys (Week 1), Redskins-Cowboys (Week 6) and Giants-Redskins (Week 13);
• Three playoff rematches, including a rematch of the AFC Championship Game (Patriots-Ravens) in Week 16, and a rematch of the AFC Divisional Playoffs (Broncos-Ravens) in NFL Kickoff 2013;
• Emerging rivalries, including 49ers-Seahawks in Week 2 and Colts-Texans in Week 9;
NBC TO BROADCAST 19 NFL GAMES IN 2012: As part of the agreement NBC signed with the NFL in December 2011, NBC, for the second straight season, will broadcast 19 regular-season games, including 17 regular-season Sunday Night Football games, NFL Kickoff 2013, 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.
SNF IS NO. 1 PRIMETIME PROGRAM ON TELEVISION: For the second straight primetime television season (through April 16), Sunday Night Football ranks as the most-watched (persons 2+) show, and the No. 1 program across the key demographics of Adults 18-49, 18-34, 25-54, as well as Men 18-49, 18-34 and 25-54, based on Nielsen live + same day and Combo data. Additionally, SNF is the No. 2 show among Women 18-34, and Women 18-49 based on Nielsen live + same day data.
2013 SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Thurs. Sept. 5 NFL Kickoff Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos
Sun. Sept. 8 Week 1 New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
Sun. Sept. 15 Week 2 San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
Sun. Sept. 22 Week 3 Chicago Bears at Pittsburgh Steelers
Sun. Sept. 29 Week 4 New England Patriots at Atlanta Falcons
Sun. Oct. 6 Week 5 Houston Texans at San Francisco 49ers
Sun. Oct. 13 Week 6 Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys
Sun. Oct. 20 Week 7 Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts
Sun. Oct. 27 Week 8 Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
Sun. Nov. 3 Week 9 Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans
Sun. Nov. 10 Week 10 Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints
*Sun. Nov. 17 Week 11 Green Bay Packers at New York Giants
*Sun. Nov. 24 Week 12 Denver Broncos at New England Patriots
**Thurs. Nov. 28 Week 13 Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
*Sun. Dec. 1 Week 13 New York Giants at Washington Redskins
*Sun. Dec. 8 Week 14 Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers
*Sun. Dec. 15 Week 15 Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers
*Sun. Dec. 22 Week 16 New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens
*Sun. Dec. 29 Week 17 TBA
** Thanksgiving Night Game
THURSDAY, SEPT. 5 - NFL KICKOFF 2013
Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos (Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colo.)
The Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens travel to Denver to take on Peyton Manning and the Broncos in NFL Kickoff 2013, the opening game of the 2013 NFL season, and a rematch of last year's AFC Divisional Playoffs won by the Ravens, 38-35. NFL Kickoff 2013 will be played on Thursday, Sept. 5, at 8:30 p.m. ET, with coverage on NBC beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 8 - WEEK ONE
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas)
In a classic NFC East division rivalry, Eli Manning and the New York Giants travel to Dallas to take on Tony Romo and the Cowboys in the opening Sunday Night Football game of the season. The Giants-Cowboys game in Week 17 of the 2011 season held the record for the most-watched SNF game ever (27.62 million), before being surpassed by last season's Week 17 Cowboys-Redskins game (30.3 million).
SUNDAY, SEPT. 15 - WEEK TWO
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (Century Link Field, Seattle, Wash.)
Two NFC playoff teams with emerging star quarterbacks square off as Colin Kaepernick and the defending NFC Champion 49ers host 2012 rookie sensation Russell Wilson and their NFC West rival Seahawks, who captured a Wild Card spot with an 11-5 record last season. These two teams split their season series last year with each team winning at home.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 22 - WEEK THREE
Chicago Bears at Pittsburgh Steelers (Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Two of the NFL's most-storied franchises look to rebound in 2013 after both teams missed the playoffs last season. Jay Cutler and the Bears (10-6 in 2012) lost a tiebreaker for a Wild Card spot, while Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers (8-8 in 2012) missed the playoffs for the first time in three years.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 29 - WEEK FOUR
New England Patriots at Atlanta Falcons (Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Ga.)
A matchup of two teams who both lost in their respective Championship Games last season. Matt Ryan and the Falcons (13-3 in 2012) lost to the 49ers, 28-24, in the NFC Championship Game, while Brady and the Patriots (12-4 in 2012) were defeated by the Ravens, 28-13, in the AFC Championship Game. This is the first game between these two teams since the 2009 season.
SUNDAY OCT. 6 - WEEK FIVE
Houston Texans at San Francisco 49ers (Candlestick Park, San Francisco, Calif.)
The Texans, led by QB Matt Schaub, won the last two AFC South Division titles after missing the playoffs in the franchise's first nine seasons. They travel to San Francisco for only the third-ever meeting between these teams.
SUNDAY, OCT. 13 - WEEK SIX
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys (Cowboys Stadium, Arlington Texas)
A classic NFC East division rivalry, as Robert Griffin, III and the Redskins travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys. These two teams played Week 17 last season in a win-and-in game. The Redskins won, 28-18, in the most-watched game ever on Sunday Night Football (30.3 million viewers).
SUNDAY, OCT. 20 - WEEK SEVEN
Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts (Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind.)
Peyton Manning returns home to Indianapolis for the first time as a visiting QB as the Colts, and their second-year QB Andrew Luck, host the Broncos. The Colts have won the last five games in this series (all with Manning as their QB).
SUNDAY, OCT. 27 - WEEK EIGHT
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (Mall of America Field, Minneapolis, Minn.)
This NFC North rivalry is a rematch of last year's NBC Wild Card Saturday playoff game that the Packers won 24-10. This rivalry dates back to 1961, with the Packers holding a 54-48-11 advantage. They split their two games last season, with each team winning at home.
SUNDAY, NOV. 3 - WEEK NINE
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas)
The Colts, behind Luck, returned to the playoffs in 2012 after having missed the playoffs in 2011 for the first time in 10 years. They lost to the Super Bowl champion Ravens in the Wild Card round. The Colts won 15 of the first 16 games between these two teams, dating back to 2002, but the two teams have split their season series each of the last three years.
SUNDAY, NOV. 10 - WEEK 10
Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints (Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, La.)
Two teams looking to rebound after not making the playoffs, as Drew Brees and the Saints host Tony Romo and the Cowboys. The Saints missed the playoffs last year for the first time since the 2008 season, while the Cowboys are seeking their first playoff appearance since the 2009 season.
SUNDAY, NOV. 17 - WEEK 11
Green Bay Packers at New York Giants (MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.)
Aaron Rodgers and the defending NFC North champion Packers travel to the Meadowlands to take on Eli Manning and the Giants, a series that dates back to 1928. These two teams met on Sunday Night Football in Week 13 last season, with the Giants winning, 38-10. The Packers lead the all-time series 31-25-2.
SUNDAY, NOV. 24 - WEEK 12
Denver Broncos at New England Patriots (Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.)
In one of the most highly-anticipated quarterback matchups every year, Tom Brady and the Patriots host Peyton Manning and the Broncos. The teams have met a total of 76 times dating back to 1970, with the Patriots leading the series 47-29.
THURSDAY, NOV. 28 - WEEK 13 - THANKSGIVING NIGHT GAME
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Md.)
For the second straight year, NBC will host a Thanksgiving night game. This year it is one of the hardest-hitting games of the year, as the defending Super Bowl Champion Ravens host their division rivals, the Steelers.
SUNDAY, DEC. 1 - WEEK 13
New York Giants at Washington Redskins (FedEx Field, Landover, Md.)
A fierce NFC East division rivalry pits RGIII and the Redskins, who made the playoffs last season for the first time since 2007, against Eli Manning and the Giants. This series dates back to 1932, with the Giants leading the all-time series 93-65-4.
SUNDAY, DEC. 8 - WEEK 14
Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers (Lambeau Field, Green Bay Wis.)
Sunday Night Football returns to Lambeau Field as Aaron Rodgers and the Packers host Matt Ryan and the Falcons, in a matchup featuring two of the NFL's top quarterbacks. These teams last met on SNF in Week 5 of the 2011, season with the Packers winning 25-14.
SUNDAY, DEC. 15 - WEEK 15
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pa.)
The Bengals, led by QB Andy Dalton, qualified for the playoffs in each of the last two seasons, the first time the franchise has reached the postseason in back-to-back years since the 1981-1982 seasons. The Steelers have won 10 of the last 13 meetings between these two teams, and lead the all-time series 53-33.
SUNDAY, DEC. 22 - WEEK 16
New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens (M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Md.)
A rematch of the last two AFC Championship Games. Last year, the Ravens defeated the Patriots, 28-13, to advance to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. After the 2011 season, the Patriots advanced to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis by defeating the Ravens, 23-20.
SUNDAY, DEC. 29 - WEEK 17
Teams to be announced by NFL at least six days prior.
The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17, but the NFL will choose matchups for each of their network partners to ensure a national game with playoff implications to conclude the season.
FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING: The season again will utilize "flexible scheduling" in Weeks 11-17. In Weeks 11-16, 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 change will be announced no later than six days before the December 29 game. The schedule does not list a Sunday Night Football game in Week 17, but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot to conclude the season.
Flexible scheduling will ensure quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks, and give "surprise" teams a chance to play their way into primetime.