NFL “maybe” will stage another early Sunday morning game

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For the first time ever, the NFL played a game on Sunday morning in the Eastern time zone, with a 9:30 a.m. ET kickoff between the Lions and Falcons.

Of course, the game started several hours later in London, the site of the contest. So with the NFL committed to playing another three games in London next year, will one of them start at 9:30 a.m. ET?

“Maybe,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Tuesday.

One factor will be the TV ratings. According to FOX, they were strong to quite strong, with a 6.6 rating and a 17 share. That’s comparable to the numbers FOX is getting for the World Series.

So get ready to watch more early Sunday football. Because enough of you watched the first installment to justify doing it again.

85 responses to “NFL “maybe” will stage another early Sunday morning game

  1. As long they continue to play these novelty games and not attempt to put a team there they can start at midnight for all I care….

  2. It’s neat the first time, but like everything else Goodell would ruin it and prolly play 9;30 games on Thursday’s making it less neat.

  3. Of course they will. More games on TV means bigger TV contracts. This is all about getting paid by the networks and pandering to the fantasy football geeks.

  4. Moving to the West Coast, it took a while to adjust to games at 10 AM. Now, 6:30 AM? Forget it!

  5. “So get ready to watch more early Sunday football. Because enough of you watched the first installment to justify doing it again.”

    “thanks you jerks who watched”
    -everyone who wants some sleep on sunday

  6. A Sunday morning game is getting equal to better ratings than primetime baseball? That is just sad for baseball. That sport is dying a slow death.

  7. It’s The National Football League, not The Global Football League. To heck with London!

  8. You do realize that the entire West Coast starts watching football at 10am every Sunday, right? I know starting games before 1pm is a crazy concept to you people out east, but it gives you a taste of what it’s like to eat breakfast while cheering your team on. And it never helps when you’re hungover from Saturday night either.

  9. i loved it.

    i dont think i would have liked it if it were my team playing though ( although getting a win before noon sounds pretty nice)

  10. slbasegame257 says:
    Oct 28, 2014 1:58 PM
    They do realize that game was on at 6:30 am on the west coast right? It was ridiculous.


    Just like games ending at 11:30 at night on the east coast. And that happens every week 3 times a week.

  11. The NFL shouldn’t play another game in London until they get a decent field to play on. Playing surface at Wembley sucks…………The league also needs to put a similar ultimatum to the Chi Bears organization. How can the league allow those sub par conditions to continue?

  12. People on the East Coast got a taste of how life is on the West Coast with 10 a.m. start times every week. I cannot imagine waiting until 1 p.m. to watch football every Sunday and having to stay up until midnight to finish the evening games.

  13. I don’t watch much Fox programming except for sports. They didn’t do a very good job of getting the word out that the game would be televised. Even The 506 didn’t point that out. Luckily I caught the 4th quarter after checking Fox’s schedule late Sunday morning.

  14. What matters from a ratings standpoint is if the game beat the Sunday morning news shows.

    If Obama or Hillary is on Meet the Press, will the NFL win? If so, there will be more 9am games.

  15. It’s good for viewers in the US because it’s a bonus game which will otherwise not be televised, it’s better for visiting teams because they leave that evening instead of the following day, arriving home in the early hours of Monday morning (the same as would happen if they were flying from West to East Coast) and people going to the game in London can enjoy the warmer weather at that time and have a more ‘normal’ game day experience.

    All that said, I hope the others kick off at 5 pm/6 pm in London, 1 pm EST.

  16. A 930AM NFL game with 2 teams nobody cares about did better than the World Series . That is sad for baseball.
    I loved it. Only London games though.

  17. I’ll take Sunday morning football if we can get rid of the Sunday night blowouts. I can’t handle Cris Collinsworth’s “love fest” with certain players, after 10 hours of other games.

  18. They’ve got soccer over there, leave us alone. I need sleep on Sunday mornings, and I need a clear head to adjust my Fantasy Football lineups. Sheesh.

  19. A novel idea and a nice change of pace in Detroit. Restaurants and bars opened early and the Lions had the chance to almost ruin breakfast instead of lunch. With an improbable comeback win, local fans could spend the afternoon napping or raking leaves with a smile that only comes from narrow escapes.

  20. I’d take 3 hours of (insert bad team) vs (insert other bad team) over 3 minutes of Chris Berman any day.

    On a side note you can bet that there won’t be any marquee games showing that early. West coast has a big enough viewership that even the NFL won’t make get up at 6:30AM to catch a game.

  21. More football = good.

    That’s why Thursday night games have been so successful. Having said that, I don’t really know what the London Game itself is accomplishing. There is no “farm system” for American football outside of America…so getting international players…and therefore international fans to relate….seems very difficult.

  22. I personally liked waking up and having a football game on as I rose from my drunken stupor.

  23. well this is part of the problem. The NFL sees people are watching these games in London, so why wouldnt they put a team there. Its the fans own fault. But i watched too, so it is what it is.

  24. It actually makes the London games an appealing concept. Otherwise it is just another game amidst the myriad games going on simultaneously.

  25. So the east coast people are trying to equate staying up until 11:30 pm to watch football and getting up at the crack of dawn to watch football? Turn your brains on. You are embarrassing yourselves.

  26. Do an early morning game but NO MORE IN LONDON!!! I still boycott all the London games even when the Fins were playing so NONE of those ratings were mine!!! AMERICAN FOOTBALL NEEDS TO STAY IN AMERICA!!!

  27. I didn’t watch it. It was on at 8:30 in my time zone. I love football as much as anyone but I don’t watch Thursday or Monday games either unless the Vikings are playing. Way too much to do to watch football every night and now every morning.

  28. If it was my favorite team, I would absolutely hate a game that started that early!

    I am now realizing why Mark Cuban said the NFL’s popularity will fade— It’s happened to me.

    I no longer play fantasy football..
    I no longer buy NFL apparel because the players are acting more criminal each year..
    I no longer watch the draft…
    The pregame shows are just a bunch of old jocks talking over eachother 3/4th of the time..
    The games have no flow because the officials throw flags so often and replays occur more now..
    I’m growing more-and-more annoyed and less-and-less entertained.

  29. I think one thing we know is that if there is money to be made, the NFL will do it.

    If the ratings are good and Fox wants to pay $200 mil for a 9am package, then it is a done deal.

  30. Sunday AM games are ONE MILLION TIMES better than Thursday night football.

    Would rather have four televised games on Sunday than 3, plus no more bogus blowouts on TNF.

  31. A Sunday morning game is getting equal to better ratings than primetime baseball? That is just sad for baseball. That sport is dying a slow death.


    Strangely enough in some areas (mainly in the Midwest/west) the MLB teams are having some of their best seasons ever in regards to TV ratings and the World Series has been drawing HUGE ratings in the Kansas City and San Francisco TV markets but nationally the TV ratings and interest in the sport of baseball have been in a pretty constant decline for 40 years.

    It seems like there are two separate realities with the sport of baseball that I can’t figure out.

  32. I live on the West Coast and loved that start time. It makes for all-day football. The only exception I would make to the start time is if a West Coast team is playing in the London game, which obviously was not the case this past Sunday.

  33. I admit, it was pretty magical to lurch out into the living room, turn on the TV, and bump into a live NFL game at 10 am on a Sunday. It was like Hangover Christmas.

  34. Surprisingly, I actually kind of enjoyed it. Although it might have helped that it was a good game.

  35. They should not have these early games at all. First of all, no West Coast team should be expected to go play a game that would be a 6:30am start time at home. They have practice at the same time every week and it is a schedule. Therefore you can’t expect the East Coast teams to do it either. It just isn’t a level playing field. It is stupid and for monetary reasons only. It in no way enhances the game.

  36. I think the NFL may have found its bargaining chip for acceptance of this international NFL platform.

    Hate the idea of a franchise in London, but games in London here and there with this 9:30a EST start is a big plus for me. IF an owner is willing to give up a home game for the benefit of extra exposure for his franchise, so be it.

  37. I loved it, I usually wake up at 12 (because in my time zone they play at 12 the early games) but last sunday I had a reason to wake up early and it was good.
    More of those games would help me wake up earlier and probably sleep less. lol

  38. Many East coast fans of either the Lions or Falcons must have rejoiced at finally being able to skip out on church to watch their team play.

  39. Stop crying you west coast fanatics!!

    I don’t see people in Hawaii or Guam complaining about the time the game is on TV!!!

  40. The NFL will continue to do whatever it needs to do to please the European market, as they already have the American fans in their back pocket. That is why Goodell and the owners don’t care about you anymore. You build their stadiums and then buy a license for a right to buy a ticket for a seat! Ask Browns fans how those PSL’s are working out for them.

  41. I live in Honolulu, in Hawaii. We are 6 hours behind EST and 3 hours behind PST. Which of course, means, I got you guys beat with having to be awake at 330 am to watch that London Game. Most Sundays is brutal, because games start showing at 7 am HST. Drinking a nice cold beer at 330 am, or even at 7 am is not something I look forward to, but the sports bars here are up and running at 645 am!

  42. All you London complainers should not have watched like me. Screw Goodell and his London garbage. I will not watch one game there no matter what time its on.

  43. A+, would watch again.

    West Coast people, man up. You guys get football at 10am every single week, then the SNF game is over by 8:30. That’s awesome, and I’m not the least bit sorry that you may have to “endure” a 6:30am game 1-2 times a year. Just stay in bed.

  44. I like football as much as the next guy in fact I’d say I’m addicted. How much more football can a guy, or for that matter, a gal watch? This whole London thing is a head scratcher. I know the owners are greedy pigs and the head pig, Arnold Ziffel – also known as Roger Goodell, is out there trying to make even more money for these teams. If the NFL decides to completely saturate the market and dilute this wonderful game I have a way they could make even more money. After every game televise Divorce Court and the NFL could be the national sponsor. If fact it could be cases of fed up wives divorcing their glued to the TV, NFL sports-a-holics!

  45. slbasegame257 says:
    Oct 28, 2014 1:58 PM
    They do realize that game was on at 6:30 am on the west coast right? It was ridiculous.


    Whatever. I stay up untill midnight on Sunday and Monday night and have to wake up at early for work.

  46. Have always watched or recorded every NFL game whenever it aired. Not Sunday. Not watching anymore London games because I won’t come on PFT and complain about the insanity of moving a team overseas then turn around and boost the ratings for overseas games so the league will have no reason to believe American fans are serious in their protests.

    No wonder the NFL doesn’t believe us.

  47. I am as anti-London as they come.

    However, if the NFL is hell bent on pushing the issue (and they are), then yes put the games on at 930 in the morning so it is at least an event. The last few years (including the first London game this year) were not even televised in my area so honestly if the fact the game was in England was not stressed during the highlights, I would not have even known.

  48. The Mountain time people have always had it the best. I’m in the Central time zone, so I would be all about an 8 am start – no more listening to the pregame shows that collectively get dumbed down each time an ex-Ravens player is put on the panel.

  49. I agree with a lot of the sentiment that trying to expand to London is foolish. We can’t even get a professional team to go to Los Angeles and yet they’re trying to expand globally. It’s going to prove to be a mistake

  50. Yes, 9 am games are awesome. As long as it’s not my team. My team makes me drink, and my wife will definitely think I have a problem if I started drinking at 9am on a Sunday. We have a “No Alcohol Before 12pm” agreement. Then again, rules are made to be broken, so…..

  51. This Sunday was Awesome.. I live in the bay Area I had Football from 6;30-9:30 am .. got to make a Beer run .. then from 10:00-1:00 .. took a shower from 1:25-3:25 .. BBQd Tri-Tip .. then Sunday night football from 5:00 to 8:00 .. capped the night with an hour of SportsCenter was in bed by 10:00pm

  52. Terrible. It’s dumb enough they make the players travel into a different time zone that drastically. Let’s get some of their feedback.

  53. It was great for me in the Atlantic time zone. Started at 10:30 am.

    I can’t stay up for the late night games, have to be up too early. It was nice to have a morning game to watch

  54. Then, why are the super bowl champions call themselves as world champions ??????

    dickshotdogs says:
    Oct 28, 2014 2:05 PM

    It’s The National Football League, not The Global Football League. To heck with London!

  55. I’ll be at Church during that time, so if they expand on this (they always do), I’ll be ticked if I start missing my team’s games. The NFL is walking a fine line with the constant changes every year. Mark Cuban was right.

  56. I think the only people that didn’t like the early a.m. start were the bookies who had to get up early to take bets!

  57. If a team has to play in London, they should get an extra bye week – one before the game and one after. In addition to the travel and adjusting to the time change, they have to do multiple publicity events for the NFL. The quality of the games suffer.

    And if Green Bay plays an early Sunday game, churches in Wisconsin will adjust their scheduled mass/services around it. I’m not being sarcastic. I remember what it was like there when all games started at 1:00 local time (meaning east coast games started at noon in Wisconsin).

    I’m surprised Catholics in Wisconsin haven’t petitioned to have Lombardi canonized. And Vince would have never gone for playing football in London!

  58. Fire Goodell, before he moves your team and or teams out of the country. It’s coming down the pipe folks. Even before this happens, Local cities will continue to lose game day revenue even in cities who paid for the teams office buildings.

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