If you often watch football on television you have likely heard the announcer refer to a prime time game. If you don’t know what this term means you are in the right place.
A prime time game in football refers to a game that is played typically around 8 PM in the United States. This is referred to as prime time because this is when most people are watching television.
Prime time games are played on Thursdays, Sundays or Mondays in the NFL. Another important aspect of prime time games in the NFL is they are usually the only game on at the given start time.
NFL games are mostly played on Sunday with the majority of games starting at 1 PM. Another large chunk of games at 4 PM and then the rest are prime time games spread throughout the week. If you are given a primetime game you will get a considerably larger number of viewers watching the game.
This is because it is during a “prime” time to watch television as well as being the only football game on at the time.
How Are Prime Time Games Decided
The decision of who plays in which prime time games and how many each team plays is not something we know. What we do know is that this is decided upon by the NFL. The NFL will decide each offseason how they want the season to play out.
From this planning comes some rules which they put into play for primetime games. For example, in some seasons the NFL planned to make sure that every single team received a prime time game.
This resulted in the NFL planning their Thursday primetime games to be divisional games. This was the NFL’s attempt to get each team a prime time game while still keeping it entertaining.
When it comes to planning the rest of prime time games the largest factors are the size of the fanbase and the quality of the football team.
As you can clearly see from the list above. The selection of these games has a lot to do with the teams themselves. Each of the teams at the top of the list either has a rich history of success in their franchise. Or are currently fielding a quality football team.
In conclusion, we don’t know exactly how prime time games are decided. But we can say that the quality of the franchise and the quality of the team are typically going to be the deciding factor.
Why Do Fans Want Prime Time Games?
The answer to why fans want their team to play in prime time games is pretty simple. Almost every fan out there loves watching their football team. And they want as many fans of other teams to appreciate how good their team is.
If you’re an underdog you want to prove to the rest of the league that you are better than they think. The best way to do this is a prime time match against a top tier opponent.
If you take down a top NFL team during prime time you can ride that high for weeks. Though many fans don’t envision the reality of their underdog teams to be attempting onside kicks in hopes of staging a comeback in a huge prime time game.
The same goes for the top teams. You want to show the league you are just as good as you say you are then you consistently beat teams in primetime. Fans love their teams, but they want other fans to respect their team as well. Having prime time games allows you to cheer your squad on under the brightest lights.