NFL denies that Thursday Night Football could be limited or eliminated

On Sunday, PFT reported that the league’s effort to solve the current ratings crisis will include consideration of shrinking or scuttling Thursday Night Football. The league says that’s not so.

Someone is working overtime at the rumor mill,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy told TheWrap.com. [Editor’s note: Thank you for noticing.] “We are fully committed to Thursday Night Football and any reports to the contrary are unfounded.”

It’s not a shock that the league would deny the notion that Thursday Night Football could subside or disappear. Anything other than an unequivocal rejection would serve only to create momentum that could back the league into a corner.

It also shouldn’t be a shock that the league is considering all options with Thursday Night Football, if the league is indeed exploring thoroughly the various potential strategies for bringing fans back to football in large numbers. Consider this recent quote from NFL Media chief executive Brian Rolapp: “If we don’t keep an open mind about preserving some flexibility, any measure of success you have can go away pretty quickly. We look constantly at improving the rules of the game, the safety of the game and the quality of the game — even if that means changing things that some people think are sacred cows.”

The quote from McCarthy creates the impression that some view Thursday Night Football as a sacred cow. So if the league’s effort to prop up ratings includes consideration of changing things that are perceive as sacred cows, all sacred cows are on the table.

And now I really want a hamburger.

65 responses to “NFL denies that Thursday Night Football could be limited or eliminated

  1. Aww man… and here I was hoping for the first shred of good news out of the NFL all year.

    All year.

  2. It’s a lose-lose for everyone & everything the NFL claims to be about except the owners pockets. So for that reason alone, it will never go away… just like games in London.

  3. Yea.. because they don’t know stifling celebrations by a player(s) after a big play sucks too.
    The NFL is losing me and I’m 55 years old.
    Start the clock AFTER clock the moment the TD is scored and they would have time to celebrate, but then again the NFL wouldn’t have time to review it.
    The cell phone call in the end zone by the N.O. Saints was just stupid.

  4. I don’t get why people complain about TNF. It’s NFL football on a weeknight. This is amazing. Reserving it for division games would probably be best.

    ——————————————————

    Y’know, Monday Night Football is still a thing.

    Thursday Night Football needs to be shut down. Having a game on Monday, and then having a shorter week is bad enough, but 4 days off before having another game ( 3 as a worst case scenario )? That’s just brutal and unnecessary.

  5. I don’t get the problem with Thursday night games. You will cry until the moment they are gone and wish you had Thursday night football back.

    I am not discounting the fact all but maybe 2 of the Thursday night games have been absolute dumpster fires but it’s still another day to watch football.

    If you don’t like it watch something else.

  6. Thursday football is good. There’s no over-saturation of football, but they do need to make one change. Only have teams play a Thursday game following their bye week. So you keep football, but you eliminate the negative. If there’s too much football for you, don’t watch it. Plenty of others will.

  7. Know what is really hurting NFL ratings? All the penalties called in a game. It is pretty sad that on an awesome kickoff or punt return that the true anticipation of these events are when the refs are gonna call them back because of a petty foul. The refs rulings take the air and excitement out of the game.

  8. The problem is not oversaturation with live games, its oversaturation with meaningless scandals. Bountygate and Deflategate, aggressively pursed by Roger Goodell, were to the NFL what Emailgate was to Hillary 2016. They made people very tired of football by subjecting the top stars to endless negative drama about minor infractions that many others probably did. If the NBA or MLB launched these investigations they would be a brilliant competitive tactic, but the NFL swiftboated itself. If the NFL fires Roger Goodell and discredits his shoddy investigations and focuses on telling positive stories not fabricating negative ones, the ratings for NFL games will go up and there will be demand for more games. Its having to track offseason scandals that are not dealt with swiftly, decisively, or fairly that kills enthusiasm for the NFL.

  9. more pertinent rumoring would be to state whether or not the nfl is makng money from tnf via subscriptions, ad revenue, etc.

    then everyone would know if it is staying or not.

  10. I work in semiconductors where profit margins are very high. When the market is in oversupply, prices drop dramatically. The biggest goal is to maintain profit margin right where it is — you do not let customers start to expect low prices.

    What do you do when the market is oversupplied? You cut back production to boost prices.

    Why do you think the NFL reduced the number of games in the Thursday night package this year forcing NBC and CBS to bid for both? A smaller supply of games to buy is worth more dollars per game than a big one.

    There will be fewer Thursday night games next year.

  11. Not really sure if I care but it’s something the NFL needs to figure out. I don’t watch a single game on FOX or CBS unless it’s my team or a great matchup which there haven’t been too many of this season.

    Redzone is what is hurting NFL ratings and it doesn’t take a genius to tell anyone that.

    I’m sure plenty of fans who want to tell themselves they are better football fans will give this a thumbs down but that’s the reality of what is happening, on top of lack of stars etc.

  12. Losing Thursday Night Football and the jobs that will be lost with it is just an example of what will happen because of Trunp, who will destroy our economy in ways Bush never dreamed of.

  13. Love the ‘idea’ of a football game on a Thursday night but the games have been unwatchable and un-(bannable), so what’s the point? I can get my football fix in my usual Sunday and Monday night doses – donèt wanna’ see the players killed or careers ruined – that will not add to my enjoyment!

  14. Gotta love the internet. Once an idea gets out there all the homers jump on board. Why, as a fan, would anyone not want TNF? Always makes for a nice run into Friday and is something I look forward to every week. I don’t care one bit if it’s hard on the players…they make millions and I don’t feel sorry for them at all. And when I’m locked in on the packer game on Sunday I can’t watch any other games, so TNF gives me another option. Leave it alone.

  15. If anything, Red Zone channel might disappear. Then I will be forced (metaphor) to watch a game…in real time…unless I record it and wait 20 minutes to begin watching.

  16. One thing we have learned with the NFL under Goodell buffoonery, is that whatever the NFL says is a lie.

    I didn’t see the video.
    Cold weather doesn’t affect psi.
    That wasn’t a catch.
    We didn’t know about the 22 times he abused her.
    We’ll release the psi results.

    And so on…

  17. I understand that I am in the minority in that I actually like Thursday night football. What I don’t understand are all the people who hate it who DON’T EVEN WATCH IT.

    Everyone of you make me sick because I am going to lose something that I like for the simple reason you think it’s negatively affecting your stupid ridiculous fantasy football team.

  18. Here’s an idea…. how about more choices on Sunday other than 3 games? 2 of which nobody usually cares about. You think fans in Florida or California are going to tune in to Bengals vs. Ravens?

  19. charliecharger says:
    Nov 28, 2016 5:49 PM

    Thursday football is good. There’s no over-saturation of football, but they do need to make one change. Only have teams play a Thursday game following their bye week. So you keep football, but you eliminate the negative. If there’s too much football for you, don’t watch it. Plenty of others will.

    And exactly how would you schedule the byes? All year long? It’s bad enough that byes start in late September before anyone gets their feet wet and aren’t over yet. In order to play the current 14 TNF games, 2 teams would have to be off every week. The week-2 TNF game would have to be those two teams’ season opener with no bye for them the rest of the year!

  20. Not gonna happen. Your labor is already built in your costs. These games would have 0 revenue effect if they were on Sundays – but on Thursday – they will garner a larger rating than nearly anything they go up against. So it’s still a win. PS – I hate Thursday night football – right up until I watch it every Thursday night.

  21. Thursday Night Football is a really good idea. It screws Fantasy Football Players, but it’s still great for everyone else.

    The problem with TNF lies with the implementation, because it’s hell on the players from a recovery and preparation standpoint. Teams should only play on Thursday Night AFTER a bye week week. Players would get 11 days off on the front end and 10 days off on the back end.

    The NFL could even extend the season a whole week so every team gets a full bye week and a mini-bye week before and after TNF. Everybody wins.

  22. I love the NFL, but detest Thursday night games! Nothing but a money grab and that is how they were able to pay the players what they wanted during the last collective bargaining agreement.

    In three years NFL will be on 5 nights a week, in 3 different countries with a 20 game schedule…Goodell won’t stop the money train!

    BTW, the play in Thursday night games sucks!!

  23. Thanksgiving will always have games on it, and if they wanted to do some Thursday games after that MAYBE, but what I would think would be best is when college goes on its breaks between Championship games and Bowl games that they put a Saturday Night game (maybe even 2) as they have done before.

  24. I don’t think the NFL is concerned about player safety because it’s the right and humane thing to do.
    I think it’s so that they can avoid any future lawsuits.
    Keeping TNF around as well as the suggestion to have one or two more games added to an already stressful season schedule proves this.

    “Yeah, let’s just put up a front that we care and hopefully that will play on the sympathies of a jury.”

  25. I never did care for Thursday night football, I feel they would be better served moving that Thursday to a Monday and make it a DOUBLE HEADER 6:30 and 9:30 pm.

  26. Nice to see the NFL is responding to erroneous information so quickly. Today would be a good time to release the PSI data collected last year and promise to release any data they may have going forward.

  27. I hate Thursday games except Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving games are awesome. Get rid of the rest of them.

  28. Limit Thursday games to a few times a year when the teams that play can have a bye before their Thursday night game. No BODY should have to play at the level of the NFL after four days recovery from the last game.

  29. Someone had the right idea—-Every team plays off a bye week on TNF and extend the season one extra week and each team has 2 byes…..Easier on the players and gives us another week of watching other games …..Make the Super Bowl the day before Presidents’ Holiday…..Sounds perfect!!😎👌🏈

  30. When Al Michaels and John Madden have spoken critically of Thursday Night Football, it’s pretty clear the league (i.e. rich owners) is on the wrong side of this issue.

    Let’s see if they make the right decision or make Mark Cuban correct.

  31. charliecharger says:
    Nov 28, 2016 5:49 PM

    Thursday football is good…If there’s too much football for you, don’t watch it. Plenty of others will.
    —-
    I think you missed the entire purpose of the story. The reason the NFL is considering getting rid of TNF is because people are not watching.

  32. Eliminate the Sunday Night and Thursday Night Games. Eliminate the preprepregame and prepre game shows that start a 6am and bring back the saturday games the last 2 weeks of the season and the ratings will go up.

  33. Love TNF. Of course, Thursday is my day off work so I look forward to a steak and a glass of wine and a football game – regardless of how good or bad it is. Kinda like my day off – a bad day off still beats a good day at work.

  34. Oh, I guess the NFL is quick to clear up misreported information when they aren’t trying to frame somebody.

  35. No hamburger here, cut me a thick porterhouse.

    As far as the Thursday Night game, I have to get up early for work on Friday, so these late games for the east coast time zones don’t really work for me. And that Browns game on the NFL Network is lose-lose for sure.

  36. The gentleman who made the statement that tnf is not being looked at has a big problem and so does the nfl. The problem, most posters dont like it so if we natioanlly stop watching and the ratings tank, they will be looking at it.
    I just think its not needed with sunday night and monday night. Not enough goods games this year. Too many mediocre teams.

  37. Not one person commenting on here would vote to dump Thanksgiving games, which are just as hard on the players as any other Thursday night games. Just another example of hypocrites and Internet sheep looking for something to whine about. Thursday night Football gets 8+ million viewers on a bad game. You don’t like it, don’t watch it, but a lot of people are.

    This is about as lame as the constant talk about the Redskins needing to change their name on here.

  38. “Not one person commenting on here would vote to dump Thanksgiving games, which are just as hard on the players as any other Thursday night games.”

    There is history and tradition there. The players all grew up watching it and dreaming of playing in it. It’s a once a year sacrifice that affects 4 teams, that has since been expanded to 6 teams which is where they should have stopped.

    If you recall, it was the Kansas City Chiefs owner who led the charge to take the games away from Detroit and Dallas (specifically Detroit, because they were God awful under Millen), the extra game was a compromise (KC played in the first Thanksgiving night game). From there, it went from 5 weeks of TNF, to 8 to finally a full season.

  39. I’ve never understood why they don’t have teams coming off a bye play the Thursday Night Game. They’re rested and then get another 9 days off before the next week.

  40. Have only teams coming out of the bye play on Thursdays. Then you have plenty of recovery time on both ends.

    I bet the players would get behind the space between games as well as playing in prime time

  41. There should be Thursday football only at the beginning of the season and Thanksgiving. Actually, what needs to happen is to bring back the Saturday Afternoon games in December

  42. Move Thursday Night Football to Saturday Night, CBS and/or NBC would bid on the games to come on after SEC Game of the Week or Notre Dame Football. The NFL already compete with College Football. It would solve the quick turn around in scheduling and it would create hefty TV contract bids. You could find additional bidders in FOX, Turner Sports (TNT/TBS) or keeping it soley on NFL Network. I doubt the NFL wants to give up the money. They’ll just make the proper adjustment of moving Thursday Night games to Saturday Night games. It makes the most sense to me.

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