Thursday NFL Games in 2014 could be the next Sunday night game night if the NFL network has their way.
In a related report from The Inquisitr, the NFL hall of fame finalists in 2014 are being led by Walter Jones.
Sunday night football tends to draw the biggest crowds on television based upon the number. For example, NBC averages 21.5 million viewers on Sunday night alone, and ESPN’s Monday Night Football draws in around 13.7 million. But now Thursday NFL games are up for grabs, with one lucky TV network getting the exclusive rights to broadcast alongside the NFL Network.
21st Century Fox, NBC, CBS, and ESPN have apparently been given the chance to bid on these Thursday NFL games in what amounts to an auction. A six to eight game lineup is the prize, and so far all of the networks, including the NFL itself, have refused to comment. The bids supposedly went in yesterday but no announcement on the winner has been made yet.
The result will have the winning network get the contract for a single season starting this September, 2014. Considering that the NFL Network is simultaneously broadcasting the same games, it’s expected the bids to be a bit lower than usual and the league management plans on determining its NFL games schedule based upon the specific proposals.
But how much is NFL Thursday night football actually worth? The NFL Network has been broadcasting the Thursday NFL games itself so far. Although viewership has increased by 10 percent from 2012, the Thursday NFL games only averaged about eight million viewers, well below Sunday night games. For the privilege of showcasing the package of 19 NFL Sunday night games NBC pays about $950 million. So analysts expect the overall cost to be somewhere around $400 million.
The biggest news about the deal is that some of the previously Sunday night only games may suddenly become Thursday NFL games. The league would do this in order to increase the ratings and sweeten the deal. Worse, popular TV shows like the Big Bang Theory air on Thursday nights on CBS, so whoever wins the auction may not matter too much since it may force all of the network to shift the showtimes for their biggest features so they don’t accidentally end up competing with Thursday NFL games.
But is it possible Thursday NFL games could grow so big they keep shifting more games over? NFL Chief Operating Officer Brian Rolapp says that’s not the plan:
“For the foreseeable future, we’ll have 13 games. There are no plans to put those on and take those off. … For years to come, we plan to have 13 games on the network.”
Will you be watching the 2014 Thursday NFL games or do you think the schedule shift is inconvenient?