Televised NFL matches have been struggling to hold on to viewers this past year so it’s no surprise they’ve made this season’s scheduling as attractive as possible.
The best schedule probably belongs to NBC’s Sunday Night Football, with their usual heavy hitting popularity, and unexpected quarterback battles such as Eli Manning vs. Dak Prescott.
The appeal of stars like these at the start of the season are likely to pull big viewing numbers right from the get-go, with the hope that quality content will be enough to keep the audience interested through to the end.
Fox is taking advantage of their NFC contract to dominate the Sunday afternoon market. Dallas Cowboys are, for many, a huge part of the draw, locking down seven of the nine doubleheader weeks the network is showing this season. The Cowboys are such a huge attraction within the league, they drew a larger audience than the Chicago Cubs’ historic seven-game World Series win.
It’s no wonder that ESPN is eager to wade into the fight for a share of Monday Night Football viewership. To improve their offering, they have been hounding the league to put on more intradivision matches. Last season’s game between Bufallo and Seattle wasn’t enough to keep everyone coming back. Because the two teams aren’t necessarily rivals, it was hard to whip up a frenzy with a potential clash.
When the Chargers moved to a different outlet, it left the network executives with a logistical nightmare. L.A. now has two teams to exclude from the 1pm kickoff.
CBS and Fox have some scheduling conflicts with their Chargers and Rams games, leaving fans with choices to make. This is a problem, which is unlikely to go anywhere, at least until one of those teams looks set to become a real contender.
It’s always interesting to see what will be moved around across networks. We imagine CBS must be delighted to have the Seahawks-Giants game on their roster this season.
With the pressure from advertisers to keep the audience from flipping channels, the Sunday Night Football games have become competitive in a different way. The losing network of any NFL games being awarded the Sunday night match, whether it be AFC of NFC. This NFL flexing is what lost Fox the chance to show a Cowboys game last season, whereas CBS scored highly in the ratings with an intradivision game that came their way.
Nevertheless, football fans across the nation are getting excited for fall!
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