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Goodell says flex scheduling could start earlier

Chicago Bears v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Getty Images

Since 2006, the NFL has had the ability to shift late-season Sunday afternoon games to Sunday night.

On Friday, Commissioner Roger Goodell said that the next wave of broadcast contracts, starting in 2014, could entail an earlier flexible scheduling option.

“As we look toward extending our television agreements, there’s an idea that we would have some more flexibility between our partners to allow our games to be put into different time slots, and maybe start flex scheduling earlier in the year,” Goodell told Darren Rovell of CNBC Sports Biz:  Game On, via NFL.com.

Though it’s in the league’s best interests to have the ability to, for example, dump the Colts-Saints game from primetime after it became obvious that Peyton Manning wouldn’t play, the move also adds value to the Sunday night package, currently held by NBC.  Shifting out a bad game and replacing it with a good game translates to higher ratings, and thus increased revenues.

In turn, an earlier flex option impacts the value of the daytime packages, currently held by FOX and CBS.

The real question is whether flex scheduling ever would extend to Monday night.  Given that ESPN already has extended its deal deep into the decade without any type of flex option, if flexible scheduling ever happens on Monday night it won’t be happening any time soon.

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31 Responses to “Goodell says flex scheduling could start earlier”
  1. edmazeing1 says: Nov 19, 2011 8:06 AM

    What if some (crazy fan) request off work for a Game, then the game time changes!!!

  2. 4ever19 says: Nov 19, 2011 8:51 AM

    And the fans who go to the games can’t make any sort of plans for the day because they will never know what time the game will start.

  3. mvpolamalu says: Nov 19, 2011 9:19 AM

    How about week1? Where the fans vote for it every week

  4. broncobourque says: Nov 19, 2011 9:23 AM

    Using flex scheduling for Monday night simply wouldn’t work and wouldn’t be fair to the paying customers who actually buy tickets. It is one thing to push a game back a few hours and I am sure that negatively affects some people who travel long distances to go to games, but to move it back to Monday night would completely screw over those people. For that reason I don’t see the league ever making the change to flex scheduling for Monday night. If they do anything with the Monday night package, maybe scheduling only divisional games or rivalry games might be a good way to go. It also might be nice if the league threw ESPN a bone and gave them a Colts-Pats game before Manning and Brady retire.

  5. hdo9528 says: Nov 19, 2011 9:47 AM

    This I agree with. It’s been a bad season for Sunday Night Football.

  6. derekjetersmansion says: Nov 19, 2011 9:50 AM

    CBS and FOX already protect a game a week during the Flex period.

    Not sure CBS and FOX would go for this.

  7. redbullenergydrink says: Nov 19, 2011 9:56 AM

    The sooner, the better. We cannot be witness to any future 62-7 games.

  8. blitzburgh43 says: Nov 19, 2011 10:08 AM

    It’s rather amusing how flexible Goodell is to changing something when it means more money for the league.

    cha ching!

  9. 3octaveFart says: Nov 19, 2011 10:17 AM

    From the headline, I thought you were talking about this season…

  10. dfalcon3522 says: Nov 19, 2011 10:23 AM

    How about flexing the broadcast team. Flex out Colinsworth!!

  11. laeaglefan says: Nov 19, 2011 10:26 AM

    The only thing I really care about for the next TV contract is that they make every game available to watch online, like mlb.com has. Either a full season or individual game subscription fee seems to be the way to go on this. Time to end DirecTV’s monopoly on “Sunday Ticket”.

  12. tomtravis76 says: Nov 19, 2011 10:28 AM

    Start flex scheduling after week 4.

  13. terrellochouno says: Nov 19, 2011 10:56 AM

    “Shifting out a bad game and replacing it with a good game translates to higher ratings, and thus increased revenues.”

    ________________

    While I can sort of see the wisdom in that, Sunday night games are opportunities for out-of-market fans to see their teams play without spending all this money on Sunday Ticket. I’m a Redskins fan. I get to see them on TV about three times a year, & one of those is always Sunday night/

  14. primetime2 says: Nov 19, 2011 10:59 AM

    you can watch every game online. Direct TV offers sunday ticket for your computer.

  15. redbullenergydrink says: Nov 19, 2011 11:19 AM

    The Sunday Ticket is all you need!

  16. txbearmeat says: Nov 19, 2011 11:22 AM

    Good. Now just get rid of MNF on ESPN entirely and give NBC a double header every night. After that, remove the “protection” of games that FOX and CBS can do so the best games get put on national broadcast every week. Flexing two of the best games every week would be awesome.

  17. dicksquared says: Nov 19, 2011 11:23 AM

    How about some Saturday night games after the college football regular season ends?

    How about

  18. seatownballers says: Nov 19, 2011 11:30 AM

    So much for planning to go to a game. Seriously, this sucks for those that buys tickets. If ya worried about revenue so much Roger, just reallocate the fine money you been handing out so generously.
    Best sport on the planet
    Commished by an average douche

  19. steelerchicken says: Nov 19, 2011 12:23 PM

    You can never has a flex schedule on Monday Night games. People plan ahead to to attend these games. Sunday are more fair since it is only a time change.

  20. tomthebombtracy says: Nov 19, 2011 2:05 PM

    One of the reasons we have bad prime time games is those damn bye weeks. Some number of teams aren’t playing each week for most weeks through the early heart of the schedule and so we suffer.

    I know the league needs the 17 weeks for the TV deals…it has nothing to do with getting a week of for everyone.

    If going to 18 games eliminates bye weeks I am all for it!

  21. artflooney says: Nov 19, 2011 3:00 PM

    Well the games start at 8:30 and go until almost midnight. Just do away with them entirely. Not everyone’s a loser with no job and can stay up that late.

  22. North American Bowl says: Nov 19, 2011 3:20 PM

    The Sunday Ticket is all you need!

    Post of the day.

  23. jdandcoke says: Nov 19, 2011 3:23 PM

    artflooney says:Nov 19, 2011 3:00 PM

    Well the games start at 8:30 and go until almost midnight. Just do away with them entirely. Not everyone’s a loser with no job and can stay up that late.

    losers are people who cant function on six hours sleep. what time do you need to wake up for work, 3 AM?

  24. bearsstillsuck says: Nov 19, 2011 4:03 PM

    I’m tired of always missing Thursday night games because I don’t have NFL network. they should do away with them or let nbc televise it.

  25. tednancy says: Nov 19, 2011 4:11 PM

    DirecTV is an antiquated medium for NFL games, plain and simple. In the broadband era, it makes no sense at all for the NFL to confine its product only to those who (a) have the access, because in some major markets DirecTV is inaccessibleand (b) are willing to spend hundreds of dollars for unrelated programing and deal with the excess hardware and reception issues that go with satellite television.

    It’s time to move into the future. The NFL would make a killing if only it would democratize distribution of its games.

    For those of you who are already being robbed by DirecTV I can only say this: you are outnumbered by legions of fans who expect a 21st century product and are willing to pay for it.

    DirecTV knows it is less attrative to the NFl with each passing season. Without Sunday Ticket, why on earth would anyone let themselves get roped into a subscription when the broadband future is already here?

    Sunday Ticket? No thanks.

  26. homersnation says: Nov 19, 2011 4:22 PM

    For those that are arguing for the point of people who schedule time to go to the game, you do realize that they announce these games like 2 weeks in advance. Give people plenty of time to make adjustments… I say go on w/ flex scheduling, earlier the better!!

  27. dillpx183 says: Nov 19, 2011 5:03 PM

    For those that are arguing for the point of people who schedule time to go to the game, you do realize that they announce these games like 2 weeks in advance. Give people plenty of time to make adjustments… I say go on w/ flex scheduling, earlier the better!!

    ——————————————————–

    and how about people that make plans (time off, flights, hote, etc) to go to a road game, or see their team that play in another city….

  28. keeponhating says: Nov 19, 2011 5:07 PM

    For everyone complaining about the flex schedule. Did you not follow lockout? If it taught us anything the fans are the last priority of the league. Even though the league isn’t possible without us. We are last on the priority list

  29. cappa662 says: Nov 19, 2011 5:24 PM

    Saints vs colts game was horrible… More flex games please.

  30. axespray says: Nov 19, 2011 8:47 PM

    only good prime time games this year I can remember….

    Packers vs Saints
    Cowboys vs Jets
    and then it’s just been ….meh

  31. Soulman45 says: Nov 20, 2011 12:37 AM

    More flex the better show the best game that have some meaning that a team need to win.

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