The NFL issued a statement Monday denying a report that they could consider eliminating Thursday Night Football or reducing the number of games played on Thursday in the coming years.
The NFL said in the statement (via CNBC) that they’re “fully committed” to Thursday Night Football and “any reports to the contrary are unfounded.”
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, citing a source with knowledge of the situation, reports that the NFL will consider the possibility of ending or at least limiting the number of Thursday night football games.
The quality of play for Thursday games has been in question for a few years now. Many have pointed to the obvious issues that come with being on a short week, as the reason for the poor product.
As of now, the NFL has contracts with CBS and NBC through 2017, so the earliest any changes could been made would be for the 2018 season, unless they’re able to negotiate changes for next year.
Florio says that some of the options the league could consider are getting rid of Thursday games all together or starting a package of Thursday games on Thanksgiving and continuing it for the remainder of the regular season.
The original idea of Thursday night games was to give help the NFL Network generate higher fees from cable and satellite providers. However, a source tells Florio that the money generated by NFL Network from the annual football games isn’t enough to prevent them from considering changes that would strike a better balance and not run the risk of oversaturation.
The NFL has seen a downturn in rating this year and some have wondered if oversaturation could be playing a role. It’s worth mentioning that ratings have improved some since the election has passed, but it would make sense for the NFL still monitor potential issues that could be impacting their top revenue source.
We’ll have more regarding potential changes to the Thursday night games as the news is available.