When it comes to a multi-billion-dollar business, there are no accidents, no coincidences.
On Thursday, the NFL by all appearances hand-picked Sports Business Journal to be the recipient of an important trial balloon: This week in Arizona, owners will be asked to vote on flexible schedule for Amazon’s Thursday Night Football.
it was a significant and unexpected story, especially since the Commissioner had declared in mid-February that Thursday night flexing was on the league’s “horizon.”
After days of significant criticism of the league’s plan, the league is now walking it back, a bit, with another apparently strategic leak to SBJ.
John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, who shared the original byline with Ben Fischer on the TNF flexing news, now reports that the Thursday night flexing will be used sparingly, once per year or less.
“Lots of ink has been spilled on the NFL’s idea of adding flex scheduling to Amazon’s Thursday night package,” Ourand writes, “most of it negative.”
But that’s how trial balloons work. And that’s what Thursday’s story seems to have been.
The league wanted to see how the football-following world would react. The reaction wasn’t nearly as glowing as the league had hoped it would be, so the league has now shifted into chicken-salad gear.
And, yes, that’s how the chicken sausage gets made.