If you are a football enthusiast, you know the excitement you get after hearing the opening notes of an NFL broadcast theme. Luckily, football season is here, and we have prepared a breakdown of some of the most iconic theme songs you’ll be hearing.


NBC Sunday Night Football – “Wide Receiver” Composed by John Williams, 2006

“Wide Receiver,” composed by none other than John Williams, is like ‘Star Wars’ for football enthusiasts. John Williams has previously composed music for NBC, and then in 2006, the network contacted once more to produce a new theme song for Sunday Night Football. J

Williams managed to satisfy them. Dick Ebersol, the NBC Sports Chairman, said the theme song needed a sense of drama and power, meaning it had to be incredibly special. The Chairman also said that John Williams tremendously delivered the requirements.


NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football – “Run to the Playoffs” Composed by David Robidoux, 2006

Without David Robidoux, football wouldn’t be the same. The NFL Network’s primary theme, “Run to the Playoffs,” the official Super Bowl tune and the NFL’s 100th Anniversary theme music were all composed by this accomplished sports composer. David Robidoux also produced the NASCAR theme and other well-known sports sounds.

The usage of tubular bells distinguishes this theme song giving it a “Carol of the Bells” by Mannheim Steamroller vibe. Adam Taylor, president, and CEO of APM, says that their music is more like a story or a dram and serves to capture the feelings of the time.


Monday Night Football on ESPN or ABC – “Heavy Action” Composed by Johnny Pearson circa 1974

Interestingly, none of the new NFL anthems were written for the NFL. “Heavy Action” was composed by British bandleader Johnny Pearson who the BBC initially hired to write “Heavy Action” for various TV projects. However, ABC recognized excellence when they saw it and seized the opportunity for its MNF broadcasts, which began in 1975.

Starting in 2006, ESPN continued the motif for their MNF games with different modifications and re-instrumentations. Since it serves as the theme for “Superstars,” a sports program on BBC, it is still quite well known in the UK. Naturally, the finest tunes are instantly identifiable, and one needs to hear four notes of this theme song to recognize it.


FL on CBS – “Posthumus Zone” Composed by E.S. Posthumus, 2003

If you were given 100 guesses and didn’t know the theme’s roots, you probably still couldn’t predict it correctly. Two brothers formed the band E.S. (“E.S.” stands for “experimental sounds”). Posthumus, which merged mathematical and classical music ideas with contemporary symphonic instruments.

Moreover, Other E.S. Posthumus pieces have also been utilized by CBS for sports programs. Franz Vonlichten, one-half of the pair, passed away in 2010. Helmut Vonlichten then performed a unique version of “We Will Rock You” with Queen’s Brian May in 2013 at the Super Bowl XLVII.