Packers Like Thursday Night
Last Thursday, the Green Bay Packers achieved their first victory of the 2012 season with win over the Chicago Bears, outscoring their rivals 23-10. Unlike your typical Sunday — or even Monday night — game, the Packers played the first game of week two on a Thursday night.
While the game was available on local channels for the team’s local television markets, Packers and Bears fans in the rest of the country had to tune into to the NFL-owned premium channel, NFL network.
Because the NFL Network is available only on premium cable subscriptions, Thursday Night Football has received significant criticism from football fans around the country. As the Packers are — according to a recent poll — the most popular team in the country, many fans either had to miss Thursday night’s game or go out to see it.
The idea of Thursday Night Football was originally introduced by the NFL in 2006 and featured a Thanksgiving showdown, with the Kansas City Chiefs defeating the Denver Broncos 19-10. During the 2006 season, NFL Network held five regular season games on Thursday night, with three appearing on Saturday as Saturday Night Football. However, due to scheduling conflicts with college football, Saturday Night Football was weaned out from their programming, disappearing after the 2008 season.
Since its 2006 introduction, the Packers have had three games covered by the NFL Network under the Thursday Night Football brand. The first took place on December 21 during the inaugural 2006 season and saw the Packers defeat the Minnesota Vikings 9-7.
The next year saw the Packers in their second Thursday night showdown, this time resulting in 37-27 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
With a win over the Bears last week, the Packers now hold a 2-1 record in games covered by the NFL Network. Including last year’s Thursday-night season-opening victory on NBC against the Saints, the Packers are a solid 3-1 on Thursdays.