When it comes to the NFL, it seems that the league's players and fans can agree on one thing: "Thursday Night Football" has been dreadful.
Players dislike the game because of the short turnaround after playing on Sundays. According to thewrap.com, “Thursday Night Football” viewing in 2017 declined a 20.6 percent on NBC from the year before. However, it was only down 2.5 percent on CBS.
There are many reasons for the ratings drop: the protests during the national anthem, the games are on a weeknight and the matchups were often terrible.
Among the games played on Thursday night in 2017: Broncos at Colts, Dolphins at Ravens, Texans at Bengals, and Patriots at Buccaneers.
Thursday night games were rarely must-see contests, even for fans of each team. One exception: the Chiefs-Raiders game in Oakland.
The lack of good matchups will be addressed, according to the Sports Business Journal.
Fox bought the rights to the Thursday games, and had a dinner with advertisers last week in New York, SBJ reported. They were told to expect some differences on Thursdays. This is from John Ourand's story:
The most noticeable of those changes should come from the strength of the “Thursday Night Football” schedule, which is expected to be released later this month. Fox executives have told NFL schedule makers that it would like to see high-quality games that normally would have anchored Fox’s late Sunday afternoon window to move to Thursday night. The goal is to have the games rival “Sunday Night Football” in terms of quality.
“We committed to the NFL that we are happy to have any of the top games from our NFC package show up on Thursday Night,” Eric Shanks, Fox Sports president, chief operating officer and executive producer, told the crowd.
Will that mean more NFC games? Time will tell.
You can read more of the Sports Business Journal story here.