Some TNF games scheduled for FOX could end up on FS1

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The NFL changed Thursday Night Football from a cable-only operation to a part-cable-only, part-broadcast-simulcast package in order to reach a larger audience (and to make more money) with its late-week prime-time game. For the next five years, there’s a chance that some of those broadcast simulcasts will end up being cable simulcasts.

John Ourand of SportsBusiness Journal reports that up to two of the 2018 Thursday night games scheduled for FOX could be bumped to FS1 due to potential conflicts with World Series games. Those conflicts would arise if late-October weather impacts baseball’s championship round.

A problem would arise if one of the early games results in a World Series contest shifting to Thursday, October 25. If that happens, Dolphins-Texans would move from broadcast to cable. And any delay of any game could result in Game Seven moving from Wednesday, October 31 to Thursday, November 1, forcing Raiders-49ers off of the parent network.

Regardless of the chances of a conflict occurring (the geography of the games and, obviously, the weather will determine this one), it’s something that could happen in any of the five years that TNF will be televised by FOX. And while the NFL surely knew about the possibility before doing the deal — and undoubtedly won’t be getting any less money if it happens — a risk remains that the games will generate much lower ratings if they are moved from broadcast to cable. While that can be explained away easily if it happens, the fact remains that fewer people will have seen games that the league clearly wants as many people as possible to see.

Of course, there’s a much more important question arising from this situation: Why would the NFL lose a showdown with baseball? Yes, it’s the World Series. But pro football remains king (despite those who would love that it not be), and the past 60 years have proven that, in the rock-scissors-paper game that is the American sports landscape, the NFL is all three.

22 responses to “Some TNF games scheduled for FOX could end up on FS1

  1. Wow its almost as if FOX has some sort of preexisting contract which requires them to air the World Series. Someone would have to look into that though.

  2. I’m sorry but Dolphins-Texans and Raiders-49ers isn’t worth keeping on FOX to move the World Series to FS1. Those two NFL games scream FS1.

  3. I’m sure FOX would love to have more NFL games on FS1, a network NOBODY watches! Come to think about it, FOX without the NFL is also a network that adults hardly watch. There might be a handful of decent shows.

  4. These guys are going to dwindle themselves into extinction.

    Monday Night Football was the biggest game of the week. It’s what you talked about at work the next day. It mattered, which is why John Lennon might drop by and chat with Howard and also how you found out he had just been murdered.

    When the game switched from ABC, where everyone could pick it up with a piece of aluminum to ESPN, it divided a once unified audience. It’s been a lesser version of itself ever since.

    Ratings went down, the quality of the games went down, and has become to swamp for gamblers and any NFL fan needing just one more game, and that was when they had Gruden to make it interesting.
    Now it looks like it might be a template for the future.

  5. Can someone please explain why week 2 & 3 TNF are only broadcast on the NFLN and not Fox. The rest of the TNF schedule is on Fox or NBC.

  6. NBCsportsWillDeleteThisCommentAnyway… says:
    April 21, 2018 at 3:10 pm
    If the NFL always wins why did the Ravens defend their championship on the road a few years ago? Oh that’s right the Orioles were in town…


    You, me, and the rest of the world knows that if the NFL had decided to flex its muscles, the Orioles would’ve had no choice but to move that game.

  7. It is just baseball, who cares. Just give a team the win and let’s get back to football.

  8. Baseball is a sport that is dying a slow death. The only reason the WS a couple of years ago drew big ratings is because the Cubs were in it. The NFL almost always trounces the World Series in ratings. Move the WS to FS1.

  9. I think MLB would demand a refund if a single World Series game were on cable. It’s bad enough the entire playoffs till the series is on cable.

  10. .
    get rid of Thursday games.
    makes no sense to worry about road teams monday-sunday but keep thursday games.

  11. All Monday night football games have been cable only for years. They can increase the TV audience drastically by moving it back to broadcast TV, by mandating the next network that broadcast the Monday games be obliged to broadcast it off the air. A couple of Thursday night games per season is not going to have much impact in comparison.

  12. When a network wants to move football to so.e obscure sports channel, the network doesn’t believe enough people are tuning in. Fox moved Nascar to FS1 and put professional women’s bowling on FOX. Apparently FOX believed the women’s bowling would draw more viewers. Doesn’t look good for the NFL

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