NFL may use flexible scheduling to move Sunday afternoon games to Monday night

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The NFL has used flexible scheduling for years, sometimes improving Sunday Night Football by taking a big Sunday afternoon game and moving it into prime time. This year, the NFL will expand that, with the possibility of moving a Sunday afternoon game to Monday Night Football.

As the league explained to reporters today, flex scheduling will continue on Sunday nights and has now expanded to Monday nights as well. From Week 12 to Week 17, if the game scheduled for Monday Night Football is not looking like a good matchup, the league has the opportunity to move a Sunday afternoon game into Monday night. The league will make the final decision on flexing Monday night games 12 days in advance.

CBS and Fox will each be able to protect one game every Sunday, so ESPN will never get the best Sunday afternoon game on Monday Night Football. But there’s a possibility that a good game scheduled for Sunday afternoon will get moved to Monday night, and a bad game scheduled for Monday night will get moved to Sunday afternoon.

That’s better for ESPN and better for the fans watching on TV — no one wants to see two teams that are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs in prime time. But many fans who buy tickets don’t like it. If you have tickets for a late-season game, you have to be ready for the possibility that the league will change the kickoff time by more than 24 hours.

47 responses to “NFL may use flexible scheduling to move Sunday afternoon games to Monday night

  1. Enough already. This will also cause major headaches for the teams who presumably will have to change travel plans / practice scheduling on relatively short notice. The league office seems hell-bent on doing everything possible to kill the golden goose.

  2. Gee thanks NFL for charging outrageous prices for tickets and concessions. Go ahead gouge people for flight changes or canceled flights, hotel rooms that can’t extend your stay because the room is booked for Monday when you originally planned to leave. Real family friendly entertainment. Its just over the top greed. Really pathetic if they go through with this.

  3. At what point does the NFL just stop having a live audience and play all the games in a giant TV studio.

  4. What’s the point of a schedule of all of it is just tentative at this rate?

  5. People like me who make plans and drive 3 hours to a game are now told sorry, next day is the game and at dam frustrating by the nfl.

  6. This is going to be the final straw for a lot of people living in cold climates. There is a big difference between a late November day game and a night game when it comes to temperature. Besides, people who have flights to catch on Tuesday mornings are going to have to worry about that game suddenly becoming a Monday night game. I’m getting to the point where I’ll just watch all the games on tv

  7. I really hate what the NFL has done with the scheduling. Such a chaotic mess. 1pm and 4pm games on Sunday, and Monday night…..that’s all. (and the Thanksgiving games)

  8. I worked at an NFL stadium for 8 years. We had events scheduled all times of the year that were not football related in addition to the games. This seems like very dangerous ground. It’s not fair to the workers, fans that bought tickets, hotels, people that booked an event that Monday that will have to reschedule/cancel.

    We all want the best games on Prime Time but as the great Homer Simpson once said, “you chose fruit, you live with fruit.”.

  9. What about attending fans? You’re all set to go to a Sunday afternoon game, baby-sitter hired, whatever and boom- you now have to rearrange your life to go Monday night or lose your money/sell your tickets. At today’s ticket prices, the NFL is asking a lot of its paying fans. Once again, fans are an after thought, except when it comes to buying those tickets and floating bonds to build new stadiums for billionaires. Not cool. As bassplucker says above…”enough already!”

  10. I won’t buy tickets to any game after week 5 (or is it 6). Not willing to put “flexing” into the equation for travel plans.

  11. Pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered.
    I love NFL football, but they are showing a disregard for the many fans who plan out and travel to see their team on the road.
    That is all.

  12. Big FU by the owners to their to fans who bought tickets especially if it is like KC at the Raider’s game where half or more of the KC fans are traveling to see their team play and a little vacation. Ditto for anyone playing the Chargers.

  13. I don’t pay to go to games, I DVR games and watch them later so I can skip commercials and time outs. To me this is fine.

    But I’d be furious if I was a paying fan.
    Night games you can’t bring kids to, and even for adults you get home VERY late.

  14. I live in Canada and used to drive 15 hours to watch a game every year in my closest market which is Minnesota. Haven’t gone in 20 years , and can’t see going again if the schedule is subject to change at the last moment.

  15. The NFL would step over it’s own mother if it meant getting an extra 10 bucks

  16. Most fans in LA and LV are travelers. Way too stick it to the working man. I don’t need two Monday games either.

  17. I’m surprised at the number of comments saying how unfair this is to fans. I assumed most people realized the NFL doesn’t care about the fans; it’s all about how much money they can make.

  18. A lot of the people complaining about the fans that have to change their plans are the same ones that complain that the MNF match ups aren’t good. You can’t have it both ways.

  19. Let’s not forget kids, in the end the NFL is not much more than a TV show that plays out in front of a live audience.

  20. hbudgess says:
    May 12, 2023 at 1:22 pm
    People like me who make plans and drive 3 hours to a game are now told sorry, next day is the game and at dam frustrating by the nfl.

    If you drive 3hrs you just leave the next day. It’s the people that booked flights as soon as the schedule came out (in my 20s I did this multiple times for Bengals games). They’re screwed when their game gets flexed 12 days in advance and they have to change flights and hotels. They’re either gonna pay hotels and airlines a fortune for the changes or they’re gonna lose a fortune when they have to sell their tickets at a loss.

  21. We’re getting close to the saturation point, if not already past it. BTW: I was a Patriots season ticket holder for 7 years, starting in 1974. Unless it were a Monday night game, all home games were at 1:00 pm. Such were the joys…

  22. 12 days is more than enough time to alter your plans. If you’re flying in for the game, you’ll just have to account for both possible times. And really, if you’re a big fan, you’ll know whether the flex will happen just by paying attention to the standings.

  23. So basically if you don’t live where the game is playing at, best to stay homE and watch it on TV. Hey BFL I get it, you popular and all rich, but most of us are not. Not even close. Some of us worry about the cost of eggs.

  24. I hate the NFL and what it has become. Ive been a fan since i was a little kid w/ my Dad going to Raider games. This might just be the end for me. Enough already, always screwing the fans just to satisfy their cash agenda. Boycott the NFL

  25. The NFL has proven they will do whatever they want with scheduling. Regardless if it hurts the players or teams. The NFL is all about the almighty dollar, and nothing else.

  26. psubeerman21 says:
    May 12, 2023 at 1:48 pm
    The NFL would step over it’s own mother if it meant getting an extra 10 bucks


    Step over? HAH!!!!

    You mean step ON & Squash its own mom if it means getting an extra 5.

    The greed is plain and clear.

    So now if you made plans that are concrete, you may be stuck or kick out an extra $100 or more for change fees.

    This is why no one likes professional sports owners. Especially NFL owners……

  27. The NFL is not ashamed to constantly disrespect the fans who wish to attend their games. The blatancy of the logistical problems the NFL is willing to cause this group exudes arrogance.

  28. I love the “12 days is more than enough time to alter your plans” people. The price difference for flights when you change within 12 days is horrendous. And many hotels will force you to cancel and re-book at a higher rate rather than just move you. And what about work schedules? Sadly I think the NFL decision makers have the same exact attitude as those commenters. “Too bad for you.” I’d like the see the NFL try that for an Eagles road game and see what happens. Or Steelers or Packers.

  29. Jm91rs, theres much more to it that drivighome the next day. Miss work, babysitting,getting a room if possible, and of course the safety issue especially the light rail in minneapolis where the crime rate is rampant at night. Its not safe in minneapolis at do you get it.

  30. The NFL has used flexible scheduling for years, sometimes improving Sunday Night Football by taking a big Sunday afternoon game and moving it into prime time. This year, the NFL will expand that, with the possibility of moving a Sunday afternoon game to Monday Night Football.


    Well, what about this year’s Christmas triple header? If it turns out that those teams stink, will the league make a change?

    Remember last year Rams/Broncos fiasco? Let’s Ride (Wilson) vs. We went all in for ’21 (Stafford)?

    Those teams were beyond horrible……

  31. Does anybody making these decisions have a family??? It’s not easy to just change plans from a Sunday afternoon to a Monday night because the NFL wants to make a few extra bucks.

  32. Outrageous! Are there any lawyers out there who want to take on a class action lawsuit on behalf of ticket holders against the NFL? Jackie Chiles?

  33. yeah, anything they can do to screw with the average Joe Football fan….who works, has to plan ahead in buying tickets and making travel plans….I wonder how many fans have have had their hearts broken because of an NFL flex game….this will really make it worse

  34. Well, it looks like another season where I’ll attend no games and watch 7 or so on TV.
    The league doesn’t care, and what’s funny is I don’t care.

  35. Nothing like a giant middle finger to all the fans who take time off from work, buy tickets, plane tix and hotels to support their team.

  36. Heard Mike North, NFL scheduling God/Guru on national radio this morning trying to convince all how the NFL “listened” because fans were clamoring for Christmas Day games, which I call BS on, btw. If, IF that’s the case, then “listen” to all of these posts right here because no one is clamoring for flex-scheduling. I’m starting to hate the NFL.

  37. Not that I care but I doubt the TV contact revenue derived from the networks is driven by the number of viewers. Does a good game increase the fee for Monday night. Does the network that receives the bad game get a refund or reduced fee?

  38. Did some research following the schedule release, the league is doing the fans, especially those that subscribe to the Sunday Ticket a disservice.

    With the league moving more games from Sunday to Monday/Thursday/Xmas….there are less Sunday games.

    So Ticket subscribers will be paying more money for less games.

    With DirecTV out of the picture, I really wanted to ante up this season, but now, Hell No!

  39. Complain all you want, threaten to stop watching all you want. When the TV ratings decline for 3 or 4 straight years, the NFL will stop treating you like garbage. That hasn’t happened yet

  40. How About dem Cowboys! Super Bowl bound. Dak will once again put Jerry Jones behind the 8 ball when negotiating his extension in 2024.

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