Full Color Football: The History of the American Football League, a five-episode miniseries produced by NFL Films for Showtime, premiered in the fall of 2009 as part of the American Football League's 50th anniversary celebration. Every season, NFL Films creates an annual highlight film for each club, which is available on home video. These films are in the traditional black and white of sports movies, but they use color graphics and footage from throughout the season to show fans how their teams' players develop as athletes.
Showtime was the only network to broadcast NFL games in color during its first three seasons (1970–1972). By the time the 1974 season began, all games were played in color. The decision to make all games color originated with the NFL, not with network television, although this may have influenced networks to follow suit.
The first televised color game was played on October 8, 1970, between the Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers. The game was shown on NBC Sports Network (current home of the NFL Network), which had signed up both teams for its inaugural season. The second game was also played on October 8, 1970, between the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals. This time the game was shown on CBS. The final regular season game in color was played on December 30, 1970, between the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.
After World War II, television helped to popularize professional football in the contemporary age. Since then, National Football League broadcasts have been among the most viewed shows on American television, and whole networks' financial fortunes have depended on possessing NFL broadcasting rights.
The modern era of televised NFL games began in 1948 when the Chicago Bears played their first game at Washington Redskins Stadium. The game was shown live by local station WGN-TV (now WPBS). This was the beginning of what has become a yearly tradition for many Americans.
The NFL's popularity continues to increase today, much like the NBA and MLB.
In addition to being one of the most watched sports in America, football has also been described as the "Sport of Kings" and the "No. 1 Team Sport in the United States."
American football was originally called "football," but the name was changed in 1974 to avoid confusion with the British sport of soccer.
The NFL is the world's most popular sport according to ESPN SportsCenter polls. In fact, NFL football is more popular worldwide than any other sport except for soccer.
The NFL has expanded its audience beyond North America with games broadcast in over 200 countries including Europe, Asia, and Australia.
The United States Football League (USFL) debuted on ESPN and ABC in 1983. The league, which lasted three seasons, saw transitory success, part of which was a result of the exposure provided by ESPN coverage. The USFL returned in 1990 as a two-month spring football league that culminated in a championship game.
During its second season, the USFL announced a new television contract with NBC. This agreement would have brought several NFL teams over to the USFL had negotiations been successful. However, the NFL owners voted down the proposal 16-4-1, thus ending its run before it could begin.
ABC again served as the broadcast partner for the USFL during its first season in 1989. This time, however, only seven games were televised due to NFL protests against the USFL's scheduling practices which included playing on Sundays and rotating home stadiums. The remaining games were shown on ESPN or local stations. ABC did not return for 1990 because by then there was no USFL left to cover.
There have been attempts to revive the league since its collapse but without much success. In 2001, the World League of American Football planned to begin play in 2002 with eight teams from around the world. However, this plan also failed to materialize and the league ceased operations after one season.
According to Rick Walls, an Eastern Region Coordinator for the National Football Foundation, in an ESPN Magazine editorial, the NFL changed the color of the ball to white with black stripes in 1941 to improve visibility during night games. The original ball was gray with a yellow stripe around it.
The first night game played by all eight teams in the NFL took place on December 8, 1941, between the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions. Night football became necessary when war restrictions forced the closing of factories that made leather equipment for athletes.
In 1948, the league decided to move away from using natural leather balls to ones made from pigskin (actually, the outer skin of the foot). These balls were not as durable and tended to get more scuffed up over time compared to the classic ball. In 1994, the league started using polyurethane balls at least 1 inch in diameter.
Here's where things get a little fuzzy. Some sources say that the ball change was made because of safety concerns due to darkness. Others claim it was done so players could better see the field during night games. Still others mention the need for better illumination during games and believe that this was the reason behind the change.
Whatever the case may be, both versions of the ball are used today.
Yahoo Sports has the NFL! - The NFL on CBS is the branding for National Football League (NFL) broadcasts produced by CBS Sports, the sports branch of the CBS television network in the United States. Since 1956, the network has carried NFL game broadcasts (with the exception of a break from 1994 to 1997).
The NFL on CBS airs Monday Night Football games and other regular season games. In addition, all playoff games are also shown by the network, which is one reason why most people know who won the Super Bowl even though it wasn't broadcast by CBS during the year that game was being played.
In 2009, the network began presenting Sunday afternoon games as part of its new agreement with the league to air 18 games per season. These games are usually available in most markets to fans who cannot receive local channels due to an over-the-air TV antenna blocking out distant stations; many such households have satellite or cable service instead.
Additionally, since 2016, CBS has televised Thursday night football games, which were previously aired by NBC. These games often attract higher ratings than the MNF games they replace.
The next month, on September 4, Fox NFL Sunday debuted, followed by a slate of six regionally aired regular season games on the opening Sunday of the 1994 season. ...
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See United States Football League for more information on the new USFL (2022). The United States Football League (USFL) was a three-season American football league that ran from 1983 to 1985. In each of its active seasons, the league played a spring/summer schedule. Games were usually played on Saturday afternoons or Sundays, with occasional evening games being played.
The USFL was founded by a group of investors who wanted to create a second major league beyond the National Football League (NFL). Like the NFL, the USFL hired a general manager for each team, but instead of 32 teams they had 13 at first. Regular season games included two home and one away game against each of the other 12 teams. The only way a team could be eliminated was if it lost all three of its games. If a team won all three of its games, they would go through to the next week without playing.
The 1983 season began with hopes high for the upstart league. However, after several poor decisions were made during negotiations with television networks for broadcasting rights, including the use of the term "football" when describing what was being offered, the league collapsed before the start of the season. The 1984 season saw only six teams remain in the league after the Jacksonville Bulls and New York Stars left to join the NFL, and no games were played due to financial difficulties.