The NFL will skip Christmas Eve this year

The NFL will skip Christmas Eve this year

Maybe they aren’t who we thought they were.

The headline from two weeks ago was that the NFL has done a non-shocked-face about-face on its position that it won’t play on Christmas when it lands on a Tuesday or Wednesday. The NFL will play two games this year, on Wednesday, December 25.

The mild surprise is that the NFL won’t play three games that day. The major upset, which wasn’t mentioned when the league announced its decision, was that the NFL will stand down on the night before Christmas.

The NFL confirmed to PFT that there will be no game on Tuesday, December 24.

A Tuesday night game wouldn’t have been impossible. The two teams could have played that night and then the following Sunday. Or on the next Monday night, as part of a simultaneous doubleheader, with one in each game.

Whatever the details, the NFL could have pulled it off. It’s a captive audience that the league has been leveraging of late.

The numbers aren’t as big on Christmas Eve as they are on Christmas. Last year, a Patriots-Broncos game on NFL Network generated 10.21 million viewers, on average. A year earlier, Raiders-Steelers averaged 10.94 million on NFLN.

When the NFL admitted that it will play when Christmas happens on a Wednesday, it threw eggnog on the idea of playing on Tuesday.

“We found a path to Wednesday this year,” NFL executive V.P. of media distribution Hans Schroeder told the Wall Street Journal last month. “Tuesday might be a bridge too far.”

Right. But so was Wednesday. If they can pull off one, they can pull of the other.

That’s what makes the decision not to play on the evening of December 24 even more surprising. It might be as simple as the audience size not justifying the hassle. Indeed, if the numbers for the last two years had been 20.21 million and 20.94 million, they probably would have found a way.

Just as they will the next time Christmas lands on a Tuesday, in 2029. Guaranteed.

Source link

News Sports