NFL Sends Out RFP for Thursday Night Football, Open to Altering Package
The NFL is soliciting bids for its Thursday Night Football broadcast package, encouraging interested media companies to bid on both television and streaming rights. The RFP indicates the league is open to altering the package, with the number and dates of games (like TNF on Christmas Day) up for negotiation. Bids are due in early January. The league-owned NFL Network will continue to carry at least 7 games, per existing linear television affiliate agreements.
Howie Long-Short: Richard Sherman wrote a column on the Player’s Tribune entitled “Why I Hate Thursday Night Football”, citing injury, safety and quality of play concerns. Sherman isn’t the only player to feel that way (see: Roethlisberger, Brees), so why does the league insist on playing the games? The NFL made $500 million from its ’17 Thursday Night Football broadcast package; CBS and NBC (CMCSA) paid $450 million (each got 5 games) for television rights and Amazon (AMZN) paid $50 million to stream games 10 games. Oh, and people are still tuning in; the lowest rated TNF game drew 10.6 million viewers (3.3x the amount of the highest rated NBA game this season).
Fan Marino: Here’s a solution. CFB held its conference championship games on the weekend of December 2nd. Play Saturday triple headers (1p, 4p, 8p EST) the last 4 weeks of the season (no NCAA games) and add one on Christmas (in ’18 Christmas falls on Tuesday, so teams playing would get a bye the week prior). There’s no reason to concede that day to the NBA. That leaves 3 games; add 2nd MNF games (7p and 10p EST) to the last 3 weeks of September (there is already one in Week 1).
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