With concerns the NFL might be oversaturating its product, the primetime game that most fans find expendable is Thursday Night Football. FOX, who recently spent over $3 billion for the rights to TNF, is trying their best to change the narrative that Thursday Night Football is a nuisance more than it is a must-see event.
According to John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal FOX is pushing the NFL for a better slate of games than TNF has received in past seasons. Last week at the NAB Show, Jason Barrett learned the NFL adjusted their rules on teams traveling between time zones for Thursday Night Football, as per Bill Wanger of Fox Sports.
Thursday Night Football has been the recipient of complaints from fans and players regarding the significant drop off in performance due to playing on a short week. While the travel rule was implemented to prevent an excessive trek for teams on a short week, the adjustment will open up the schedule of games made available to TNF.
FOX is even willing to make sacrifices to its Sunday slate of games, if it helps bolster their Thursday schedule. “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,” said FOX Sports president, Eric Shanks.
Fans could potentially see a west coast team play a home game on Sunday and travel across the country for a Thursday night game. This might allow for more compelling matchups on paper, but it remains to be seen whether or not the on-field performance is compromised even more than we’ve seen in previous years.