Since 2002, the NFL season features the following schedule:
* a 4-game exhibition season (or preseason) running from early August to early September;
* a 16-game, 17-week regular season running from September to December or early January;
* a 12-team Single-elimination playoff beginning in January, culminating in the Super Bowl in early February.
Traditionally, American high school football games are played on Friday, American college football games are played on Saturday, and most NFL games are played on Sunday. Because the NFL season is longer than the college football season, the NFL schedules Saturday games and Saturday playoff games outside the college football season. The ABC Television network added Monday Night Football in 1970, and Thursday night NFL games were added in the 1980s.