Players and specially coaches don't like playing on short weeks. It doesn't give the players enough time to heal from the previous game, and it makes it tough for the coaches to come up with game plans and do their analysis.

So what made the NFL hold night games to Thursdays?

  • According to the Wikipedia article that @Philip referenced, the NFL has only played 8 games total on a Friday since 1978.
    – Ben Miller
    Nov 18, 2017 at 12:37

1 Answer 1


This is due to the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961: the NFL is legally forbidden to televise any matches on a Friday night within 75 miles of any high school during the high school regular season, and similarly for Saturday nights and colleges. As virtually the whole of the USA is within 75 miles of a high school or college, this means they couldn't televise the match at all - and as the NFL's money comes from television broadcasts, that's a huge deterrent not to play.

Once the high school and college seasons end, the NFL is free to play on Fridays and Saturdays, which is why playoff games happen on a Saturday.


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