Could NFL eventually spread games to more windows?

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Today doesn’t feel like a Wednesday.

It doesn’t feel like a Wednesday because an NFL game was played last night. And some in NFL circles would like that feeling to be felt more frequently.

There’s an notion, ricocheting around in the upper reaches of the league’s ownership ranks, to explore the possibility of expanding the weekly windows to include Tuesday and/or Wednesday night games on a regular basis. It’s part of a broader conversation regarding increasing the total number of windows during which games can be watched — and on which a wide array of in-game wagers can be placed.

As technology solves the issue of latency between live events and living rooms, and as more states legalize sports wagering, in-game betting will become a reality. As in-game betting arrives and expands, an incentive will arise to have as few games as possible on TV at once and, in turn, to find more places in the pizza to stuff with cheese.

London games starting at 9:30 a.m. ET? That’s a fourth Sunday window. Late-night West Coast games at midnight on Sunday? There’s a fifth Sunday window.

The pandemic has resulted in multiple Monday night doubleheaders. People like them. The pandemic has resulted in multiple Tuesday night games. People like them, too. The pandemic has given us a late Wednesday afternoon game. And no one complained.

Of course, the NFL wouldn’t be expanding the windows because fans like being able to focus on more games, instead of having seven, eight, or nine being played simultaneously at 1:00 p.m. ET. The league would be doing it because the wagering angle would make it an even better business model.

The argument against expanding windows comes primarily from the concern that the product will be diluted. During football season, however, people want to watch football. For the past couple of years, we’ve argued that spring football leagues should play on Tuesday and Wednesday during football season, because people are far more interested in football during (wait for it) football season.

Scheduling would be an issue, too. Teams shouldn’t have an excess number of short weeks, and byes would need to be used strategically. A second bye per team possibly would be needed.

Regardless, whether it happens in the next round of TV deals or the contracts that come later this decade, the combination of the pandemic and legalized wagering has prompted some to believe that the league has discovered plutonium by accident. It feels inevitable that the league will turn this discovery into even more cold, hard cash.

41 responses to “Could NFL eventually spread games to more windows?

  1. Expand the season so that each team has 2 byes and go for extra windows. I know I’ll watch whenever they are on. Game Pass is awesome but doesn’t have the same feeling as the live games.

  2. This is all about money. I’m actually surprised the owners are not trying to have a game every night of the week.

  3. Plenty of people complained about the Wednesday game, including most of the players and coaches.

  4. Monday night double headers should be the norm starting in 2021, 1 game east and 1 game west.

    No thanks to Tuesday, Wednesday night or Int’l games!

  5. I’m so conditioned to watch on Sunday/M/Th I haven’t tuned in to any of the odd days games simply because I don’t think about it.

  6. So its not really about the pandemic its about making money? Its about the gambling? Its about keeping players safe its about making sure the right people are focused on the right games for the right amount of money…..

  7. Sunday is for games. Too busy doing other things at other times. And I HATE late night games. I have free time on Sunday afternoons. That’s football time. Stop trying to change it.

  8. Why mess with a formula that has worked for so long? I understand the changes due to COVID this season, but they risk watering the product down if you don’t have nearly all the action on Sunday. I live for Redzone when there are a ton of great games going on simultaneously!

  9. I am shocked (and “truly” I might add) that so many fans think the NFL is about making money

  10. I’m so conditioned to watch on Sunday/M/Th I haven’t tuned in to any of the odd days games simply because I don’t think about it.

    ^^
    You felt the same way when they introduced Thursday night football but now you’re used to it. You’d get used to the other dates if it was part of the normal schedule, these impromptu changes are what’s getting you.

    If a team would play a schedule with mostly Sundays but then a single Tuesday and a single Thursday spaced around bye weeks, it’d work. Like Sunday > Bye > Thursday > Sunday > Tuesday > Monday to space them out it would be okay with most teams.

  11. I disagree with “A corporation’s only responsibility is to earn the maximum possible profit for its shareholders” to the depths of my being. That said, the NFL doesn’t owe any of you anything. If you don’t like them earning an honest buck on their product, there’s always tiddlywinks.

  12. If they’re so concerned about nine 1pm games on Sunday, how about they start by spreading the games out to the 4pm window and quit making it so only one network can have double headers on Sunday?

  13. Nfl is the only regular season games worth watching in sports. Go to Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Loved the Tuesday night game. Let’s go all week

  14. I like it, but the wife sure isn’t going too…

    —————————–

    I lucked out in that department. The wife watches as much football as I do. Heck, some Sundays I want to go mountain biking, and a get an earful about missing games.

  15. Late night midnight games on Sunday on the west coast?

    Are you freakin kidding me? People have work the next day. No one will be watching. That’s one of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever heard on this site, which speaks volumes

  16. In game, online betting has been around for more than a decade. Having more weekday night games will have no $ effect on the number of bets or amount being wagered. If you’re going to bet on a Wednesday game, you would surely bet on that same Sunday game.

  17. The more football the better.

    I think Thursday Night, Sunday Night, MNF Double Header and Tuesday Night should all be the norm.

    That puts 5 games nationwide on primetime every week.

    Leaves 11 games for 1 and 4:15 on Sundays

  18. They can schedule Tuesday games for teams going into their bye week, and Thursday games for teams coming off their bye week. Teams wouldn’t have to play on short rest. Maybe skip the first four weeks and the last four, but do it for the middle nine weeks. I’m on the west coast, so it’s much easier. When I lived in the east, I’d often go to bed at half-time, so maybe they should start the games earlier. People that want to gamble have always found a way to gamble, so this isn’t an issue.

  19. I know this is a dumb reason for watching, because I don’t gamble on any of them. I watch because I enjoy football.

  20. I’m all for it, who wants to say no to more football. Even if some of those Tues/Wed night games aren’t the best quality like Thursdays are, who cares it’s something to watch anyway.

    I do especially like the double MNF games, that should be in effect right away.

  21. nycgreg says:
    December 9, 2020 at 7:13 pm
    Late night midnight games on Sunday on the west coast?

    Are you freakin kidding me? People have work the next day. No one will be watching. That’s one of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever heard on this site, which speaks volumes
    ——————————
    Bro try living in Europe and having to do that every Sunday/Monday/Thursday. Everytime the Seahawks are playing in Primetime, I don’t get to watch them live because the game kicks of at 02:30am. You get used to staying up late and watching football around midnight and going into the next day. It’s actually quite nice on Sundays I have my whole day to get stuff done, and then my reward is football.

  22. As long as people are afraid to leave their homes, don’t have office buildings to go to, friends to see, establishments to frequent, it will work. Personally speaking, after this winter is finished and pandemic restrictions start lifting, I plan on watching far less television, not more.

  23. More games would be awesome. My only problem with that is there are more injuries which really affects the final product. Instead of seeing the best we are stuck watching a bunch of no-name guys filling in. The human element can’t be ignored.

  24. This is a unique year. If the NFL wants to declare war on college and high school football, go ahead and take on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

    Doing this would make short weeks the norm, and we all know how awesome football is on 3 days’ rest. OWN Sundays. OWN Monday night. Play on Thursday if you absolutely must (though if that went away it would be cool). But leave the rest of the week alone.

  25. I think the scheduling gets too wonky if you spread things out too much. Player safety, while many don’t care at all, should be important to fans and the league.

    I absolutely agree about Monday night double headers – a West coast game starting at 7pm would be 10pm in the East. Not ideal, but I also have a DVR to watch what I miss after I fall asleep. An East/West double-header on Monday and Tuesday would be kinda sweet.

    As someone has already said – give each team TWO bye weeks during the season, which will give the league more opportunities to spread things out.

    There are a lot of possibilities.

  26. When fans return to the games, season ticket holders aren’t going to want to go to a 8:15 Tuesday or Wednesday game. Many work and will eliminate them going. Thursday games already make it tough for workers. Totally bad idea. If no fans at the games, sure, why not.

  27. radar8 says:
    December 9, 2020 at 7:06 pm
    I like it, but the wife sure isn’t going too…

    —————————–

    I lucked out in that department. The wife watches as much football as I do. Heck, some Sundays I want to go mountain biking, and a get an earful about missing games.

    ———-

    Congratulations. Every husband here is now jealous of you. 🙂

  28. Honestly, the NFL could use this to be more fair to the Thursday night games. Play on Thursday night? Next game on Monday or Tuesday instead of Sunday. Play on Tuesday night? Next game on Monday. It might take a few seasons to get it right, but maybe the NFL could finally have it set where each team gets 5 days until their next game from their previous game. Logistically though, I think Wednesday night is trickier.

    I love the afternoon double-headers, even if I might miss a little bit because of driving home from work. It is MUCH better than the idiotic late-night double-headers. I’d rather miss the first half due to traffic, than the 2nd half due to not being able to stay away.

  29. Can you see a “rolling schedule”. e.g. A team plays on Sunday one week, Monday the next, Tuesday the next…and so on? (Except Saturday during college FB season)
    I’m sure the NFL computers are grinding on just such a scenario as we speak.

  30. Normalize Monday Night double headers (7 & 10pm) and a more even split between 1pm and 4pm games on Sunday.

    Leave the rest of the week alone (other than those few late year Saturday games).

    It makes it more special when you get 3 Thurs games on Turkey Day or a weird Christmas Eve/Day game. Tuesday and Wednesday allow us all to recover (players and fans).

  31. I don’t like the idea of more games during the week. part of what has made the NFL different is the build up to Sunday. I like the Idea of Monday Night double headers and I am just ok with the Thursday games, But please no regular Tuesday or Wednesday games.

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