NFL fans, as well as more specifically fantasy football managers, cross your fingers as a vote could make Thursday Night football a more viable and attractive option starting next season.
According to a report in the Sports Business Journal, NFL owners will vote on a new flex plan for Thursday night games during next week's league meeting.
As we all know, the highlighted primetime games have often served up sloppy, low-scoring affairs between bad teams. The flex plan would aim to eliminate games between teams sitting at the bottom of the standings. If the plan receives enough votes, the league would be permitted to shift quality Sunday games to Thursday night.
The report states that specifically that the league would be allowed to shift up Sunday afternoon games to Thursday nights in weeks 14 to 17, with 15 days’ notice, and to schedule teams for Thursday games after a previous Sunday game twice in a season. The current arrangement limits that move to once per team.
SBJ went on to point out that “In Amazon Prime’s first season as the exclusive home of “Thursday Night Football,” 9.6 million viewers watched on average,” according to Nielsen. The report called it a good number for Amazon, but pointed out that it marked a 46% decline in viewership from the 2021 season.
With player safety always the primary concern for coaches, NFL coaches could balk at the proposal—especially when having games moved while star players are dealing with injuries. Those players would now receive fewer days to recover and could potentially miss a game they would be able to participate in with it previously scheduled on Sunday.
Although fans may be ecstatic about watching teams with something to play for, those who purchase tickets for the live event in advance may not be so happy, as the new date may conflict with their ability to attend.
In order for this proposal to be approved, 24 of the NFL’s 32 owners must vote in favor of it. Given the allure of more attractive games, both from a fantasy and betting aspect as well, this proposal seems like it should be easily become policy, despite the potential legitimate objections offered up coaches and players.