With 2022 European games, NFL fully embraces Sunday morning window

Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers
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Folks in Seattle aren’t thrilled with the fact that their local team will be playing a game against the Buccaneers in Germany that starts at 6:30 a.m. PT. But that’s what happens when the NFL becomes determined to expand the number of windows for NFL games.

All four of the 2022 European games land in the 9:30 a.m. ET/6:30 a.m. PT time slot this year, an unprecedented number of Sunday mornings that feature football — and not pregame shows talking about football. While those shows will go on, most football fans will choose to watch, you know, football games.

It’s no surprise. The ongoing growth of legalized wagering, and the inevitable deployment of technologies that allow wagers to be made in real time prior to any and every play in a given game, will compel the NFL to spread a given weekend’s games out, as much as possible. That’s why Monday doubleheaders could eventually become a commonplace occurrence. Ditto for Tuesday and Wednesday night games.

Ideally, the league would play one game at a time. It will be virtually impossible, however, to pull that off.

The NFL nevertheless can stretch the current number of windows per week (five) into something more than that, with one on Thursday, four on Sunday, two on Monday, one on Tuesday, and one on Wednesday. That’s nine weekly windows for up to 16 games. Throw in the bye weeks, and there wouldn’t be many simultaneous games in the Sunday afternoon windows.

And don’t forget the seemingly inevitable Black Friday game on Amazon. With the broadcast antitrust exemption not jeopardized unless and until games after played after 6:00 p.m. ET on Fridays, the league could embrace a weekly “Football Friday” national broadcast, with a game that starts at 2:00 p.m. ET, and that people watch (and wager on) while at work or school or wherever on their phones.

Bottom line? A league that already has found a way to cram as much cheese as possible into the pizza will be looking for more nooks and crannies. The decision to cram four Sunday games into an early-season window — even if folks in Seattle will have to get up extra early to watch — underscores the commitment to spread the weekly games out as much as possible.

19 responses to “With 2022 European games, NFL fully embraces Sunday morning window

  1. I really enjoy these morning games. Food prep the night before. Wake. Bake. NFL.

  2. Having lived nearly all my life on the West coast, I know the NFL to be well-suites for Sunday mornings going back to the 60’s. It’s an excellent tradition.

    But having lived nearly all my life on the West coast, I also know that booking West coast teams 9 time zones away from their normal body clocks and 9 time zones away from their fans is a ridiculous idea. It’s just as stupid as booking NY Giants games in Sydney, Australia.

  3. The sound you hear is the first croak of a golden goose starting to die.

  4. I was in Hawaii a few years ago and watched an Eagles game starting at 8:00 a.m. local time. Coffee instead of beer; cereal instead of wings, no shouting (wife was still in bed). Weird

  5. NFLs greedy owners always trying to squeeze just a little more money out. Because making several hundred million dollars a yr isn’t enough?! Just change the National in NFL to World. The loyal fans in Seattle get screwed because Germany is dying for NFL football?

  6. The NFL puts most of it’s games on at the same time Sunday and which means I always miss the games that are opposite the Packers (or any other game I wanna watch). These alternate time slots give me an opportunity to see a game I otherwise never would. Don’t have a problem with that one bit…and don’t understand why anyone else would.

  7. It seems a little strange that the European games wouldn’t be scheduled at more like 6pm their time, so that they would air at noon or 1pm Eastern and 9-10am Pacific. Americans who travel to Europe for the games would probably appreciate having the day to do touristy things and then go to the game. Fans who stay home would see the games at about the same time as normal. I get the NFL’s interest in adding another window on Sunday, but much as I love football, watching three games on Sunday is already pretty overwhelming.

  8. I’m guessing the local revenue-salvaging, big-name exhibition soccer game at Lambeau is purely coincidental to Green Bay agreeing to not only play a game in Europe but also give up a lucrative home game, to boot. Whoever made that happen gets a feather in his cap. Nice work. Good job.

  9. Personally as a European, I would much prefer the NFL invest the money in a 12 team EFL with European players and a proper TV deal. If players here made enough money to make football their job it would make a huge difference to the game here.

  10. “Ditto for Tuesday and Wednesday night games & 2:00 pm “Football Friday’s””

    Doing this would only prove Mark Cuban right!

  11. The divorce rate will creep up with every additional window the NFL adds to watch games.

  12. As the picture in the story shows, some seattle fans already are up that early doing their makeup. (to me, a “super fan” is one that knows a lot about the sport and not someone in a wig) The rest of us non-crazy-Seahawks fans will be doing as myvietnamwasfightingtheclap said: Wake. Bake. NFL. …The entire day of football is the best. Go to a bar that serves breakfast, stay all day, spend a ton of money. It’s great. I’m not so sure about the Tuesday and Wednesday stuff though. How long until you get a string of low-quality Jags Giants game snoozfests in the middle of the week. Sounds like oversaturation of the market to me. I mean, what percentage of fans actually watch more than one or two other games in addition to their favorite teams’ games. Doing all this just for gamblers doesn’t make sense. And the players already hate thursday and monday games because they want to be on a routine and throwing in the other days of the week screws up their routine.

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