League will take a close look at Thursday Night Football

With mounting criticism of the quality of every-week Thursday football, scattered suggestions have emerged in recent weeks that the NFL could pull the plug on the experiment. Those suggestions are stronger than that; per a source with knowledge of the situation, the league will be considering the possibility of ending, or at least limiting, Thursday Night Football.

The current contract with CBS and NBC runs through 2017, which means that changes to the package could be made by 2018 — barring a renegotiation.

The league realizes that, with every team playing once on a short week each season, many of the Thursday games necessarily will have reduced appeal. Adding extra prime-time games to the Sunday/Monday inventory also has created a sense that the league has saturated the marketplace with stand-alone evening games.

Options include (but aren’t limited to) getting rid of Thursday games completely and possibly starting the package at Thanksgiving and continuing it through the end of the season, with games likely to generate broad interest selected in April for November/December programming. Thursday Night Football debuted a decade ago as a device for providing game content for NFL Network, allowing the league-owned operation to generate higher fees from cable and satellite providers.

As the source explained it, the money generated from NFL Network due to the annual slate of exclusive games isn’t large enough to make it an impediment to broader efforts to strike the right balance between giving national audiences enough, but not too much, pro football — and to ensure that games played in prime time are truly worthy of being seen.

30 responses to “League will take a close look at Thursday Night Football

  1. No team should ever play on 4 days rest. Only teams coming off a bye should play Thursday and then a skip the following Sunday.

    Player health must be the number 1 consideration.

  2. I don’t get the opposition to the Thursday games. Let’s say the Titans and Jaguars are playing on Thursday night. If you don’t want to watch it, don’t watch it. If the game was moved to Sunday, 99% of Americans probably won’t see it anyways.

    I really enjoy the Thursday night games. If I am busy or not interested, then I don’t watch. But, it is nice to have an option to see a game that I otherwise probably would not have seen. I like seeing some of the teams that are not normally featured.

  3. I like football on Thursdays but the games are usually terrible due to the games they pick. Usually it’s 1 good division team vs a crappy one and is a blowout.

  4. Everyone hated it in the beginning when TNF was behind the Walled Garden of NFLN, and most cable providers didn’t carry NFLN, so nobody could watch.

    Then everyone kinda got over it when they realized the majority of games were blah.

    Then NFLN was made available on cable, but the ratings were really bad. So they started simulcasting on CBS, the people rejoiced, and ratings skyrocketed.

    Then everyone kinda got over it when they realized the majority of games were blah.

    If the league kills off TNF, everyone will kinda get over it.

  5. Thanks for looking at it, after they screwed the Redskins by making them play Sunday night, and having them travel to Dallas.

    Teams that play on Sunday night, should not be playing on Thursday.

  6. Goodell and his cronies and the owners will look at the long list of reasons why TNF should be discontinued on one side, and the single entry of “TNF makes us marginally more money than we otherwise would”.

    Guess what won’t be discontinued?

    This is merely lip service for the fans and players.

  7. There is no further need for network-exclusive games. This garbage only needed to last as long as it took to force NFLN onto everyone’s cable/satellite bills.

  8. bricketh says:
    Nov 27, 2016 2:18 PM
    Move it to Saturday night starting the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
    ————————–
    Yeah, and then kiss your free farm system good-bye.

    As if the NCAA and/or DOJ would actually tolerate the competition from the NFL. Why is there always one person who has to bring up this fantasy as if they’re the first genius to think of it?

  9. This is a league that prioritizes player safety. If that is true ,Thursday
    night football should be played on a limited basis with proper rest time
    before and after the game. A league that values players quality of life
    should not permit a team to play 3 games in 12 days ( Dallas ).
    If you want a longer season let the schedule be longer with no more games and include 2 bye weeks. This way the players have the proper time between games to recover. It also may allow higher quality games
    and lower injuries.

  10. The league doesn’t seem to realize that there are still a lot of people, and areas, that don’t have cable and don’t have or can afford satellite. They still watch the “old fashioned way” with an antenna. The more stuff that the NFL puts on cable/sat, the more it alienates those who can’t get the pay channels.

  11. I’d like to see them get back to 2 options for early and middle time slots on Sunday. I’m sick of just the 1 choice for the middle game.

  12. linemanguy74 says:
    Nov 27, 2016 2:42 PM

    Interesting to see the % of road teams that win a Thurs game

    ********************

    Look like 10 wins for the home team, 4 for the road team. (Includes all three games on Thanksgiving)

  13. Some dude above said it right…. Move it to Saturday Night the week after the college conference champ games… So not this coming weekend but, the week after… Something I love about that afternoon Saturday game and then a prime time game…. Do it. Do it now

  14. Oh… And get rid of the London games… And have a couple more in Mexico City… That played much better coming across the TV. And it’s not a killer flight for any teams in the South…. New Orleans, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, San Diego, 49ers, Raiders can all be in play there…

  15. bricketh says:
    Nov 27, 2016 2:18 PM
    Move it to Saturday night starting the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
    ————————–
    Yeah, and then kiss your free farm system good-bye.

    As if the NCAA and/or DOJ would actually tolerate the competition from the NFL. Why is there always one person who has to bring up this fantasy as if they’re the first genius to think of it?

    Hey, Copernicus…there’s only one week of college ball after Thanksgiving. The NFL would have no competition to contend with by airing games on Saturday for almost all of December…unless you consider figure skating, skeet shooting, or the X Games “competition.”

  16. I’d be fine with them getting rid of Thursday Night Football. Having a team play on four days rest is ridiculous and is just another thing that contributes to the higher amount of player injuries. Plus, most of those games just suck.

  17. If player safety is the concern (it isn’t, I know) then only teams coming off a bye should play on Thursday. That’s pretty simple. Pop it into the computer.

  18. The games would be better if we had exciting color commentators. John Madden is missed. The games need more replays, technical looks at blocking on the interior line, showing receivers who were open and not thrown to, really making stories within stories. The actual PRODUCTION is weak. Technical analysis is replaced with boring banter. Get some dynamite announcers and more people will watch the games. Stop trashing the Bears, the 49ers the Browns, the Jags, etc. They are rebuilding and they have interesting stories that are never told, instead they are trashed which turns off millions of fans of those franchises and others. The PRODUCTION itself is the biggest problem. The games could be made far more interesting with a great TV crew!!! I LOVE the color rush uniforms on Thursdays–it creates 100% contrast so it is better to see the action.

  19. @bricketh and @bleedingfacemask, my honest apologies I did not mean to report comment on you guys,, I meant to hit what I thought was the reply to comment,, a mistake on my part for not reading it more carefully. I am new to the WordPress commenting as this is my first reply in over atleast 3 years and maybe a handful of post before then.
    I apologize for my mistake I hope it didn’t cause you guys any issue from the site.
    Again my it was my mistake. I admit that and apologize for it.
    I also understand any bashing I get for this.

    Thanks for your time and hope I didn’t cause you any inconvenience.
    Bull

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