Why Does the NFL Not Play Matches on Fridays and Saturdays? (Detailed information!) 

Last Updated on May 15, 2022 by

NCAA regulate all games and has given strict directives to all NFL organizers to not slate any match for Fridays and Saturdays. In the USA, Fridays are reserved for high school football and Saturdays for college football.

 Majorly each of these levels uses their respective days to play as many matches as possible. The NFL by the law of the NCAA has Thursdays and Mondays to play theirs. Sundays are not conducive as they can interfere with either high school, college, or NFL football.

The National Football League (NFL) usually commences its season the weekend just after the first Monday of September (i.e usually following the Labor Day holiday) and usually ends in early January, just after the season’s playoffs tournament begins. By regulations, the NFL usually consists of 272 games, with every 32 teams of the NFL playing 17 games during 18 weeks. 

Since 2012, the NFL has begun to schedule games in a five-time slot every week. The first weekly game kickoff Thursday night by 8:20 PM but the major games are scheduled and played on Sundays which usually kickoff at 1:00 PM and some late games are slated for noon which usually kickoff either at 4:05 or 4:25 PM. Additionally, some games are slated for every Sunday in each week which kickoff at 8:20 PM.

Why Not Friday & Saturday? 

Why Not Friday & Saturday

Before this time, the NFL scheduled and played matches on Saturdays usually after the season was over for the NCAA regulars. When the NFL commences its playoffs, the NCAA still always game to be slated and played on Saturday and Sunday but up until the game progresses to the conference champion games just then are restrictions placed on the schedule of games for Fridays and Saturdays. Occasionally, games for Fridays are always rare but exceptions are made only when Christmas fall on a Friday mostly because Friday is dedicated to high school footballers. Others have argued that the reasons why the NFL played most of it’s games on Sundays it’s because Fridays and Saturdays are clouded with ceaseless games by high school and college students. Traditionally, most high school play their football Friday after school (hence the name ‘Friday Night Lights’)

This wasn’t just the sole reason why NFL doesn’t schedule matches for Fridays and Saturdays but mainly because under the Sport Broadcasting Act 1961. The Act strictly banned NFL to schedule and play matches on Fridays when high school football and Saturdays when college football season are being played. More so, the NCAA and Sport Broadcasting Act suggest that fans and sport lovers would be exhausted moving to and fro especially those that would want to buy tickets to watch the game.

The Sport Broadcasting Act still continue to consider fans that also play the NFL game. In a exclusive with the spokesman of the Sport Broadcasting Act, they recount that “Some players that play at the NFL so have respective games slated for either Friday or Saturday depending on if he’s in high school or college”. The NFL has also introduced the Thursdays night “feature game”. 

They hope this third Thursday night game would work but except fans, the team management, and players dislikes this game for many reasons because it provides a short time to train and prepare for the game, and also statistics have recorded that these matches have recorded high injury rate because of the higher steaks. The NFL has continued to select different days of the week with special games. The NFL introduced the Monday night game special, this game received a lot of accolades from both players, fans, and sporting industries alike. 

Over time, the NFL got smarter and begin featuring a Sunday night special which was a primetime game but this didn’t commence until the start of 2006. My Sports analyst have come out to commend the NFL for this incredible innovation and even questioned why they didn’t even come up with something such thing for a long time. Other analyst predict that the Sunday Night special might just become the next big thing in sporting industry. The NFL Mondays game  become a sensation and was highly profiled because no special game was televised on Mondays and it didn’t take long for it to become primetime and was nationally televised.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does the NFL only play a game once a week?

NFL games are only scheduled for Thursdays, Sundays and Mondays as this allow players and team to adequately prepare for each game. This ample time ensures that no player is disadvantage because of stress and fatigue. More so, teams that have games slated for Thursdays would have a short week without games.

Does NFL play any game on Friday night?

No, the NFL doesn’t slate any game for Fridays because most high school football games are usually played on Friday.

Why are NFL games slated for Sundays?

In the early days of pro game and college football, games were slated and played frequently on Saturdays and it attracted a lot of popularity, but over the cause of time the new American Professional Football Association (which eventually become the NFL) began to schedule it’s games for Sundays.

Why is there a  game slated for Saturday at the NFL?

Some games are played on Saturdays especially those for the late season. The Sport Broadcasting Act banned the NFL and NCAA for scheduling games for the same time but an exception are made for games played during December and January especially after the NCAA has concluded the season.


As much as fans, terms, and players enjoys the glamour, paparazzi of each match, the NFL cannot be played as regularly as the we all would want to. These is because of strict directives by the Sport Broadcasting act that limit the number of games played. More so, special consideration are made to both high school and college footballers.

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