REPORT: NFL Considering Eliminating Thursday Night Football


The NFL is a ratings monster. Back in 2006, in effort to further boost those numbers, the league added a primetime game on Thursday nights. The games, which began with favorable reviews have become the gutter of professional football, full of bad match-ups, injuries, poor play and has possibly led to over-saturation of the sport.

In a last-ditch effort to gain viewership despite such, the NFL decided to have teams play in custom “Color Rush” uniforms, which like the games themselves, started strong, yet are now the butt of jokes due to terrible color schemes and watchability, which was difficult for color blind fans trying to distinguish the two teams during play.

The leagues contract with CBS and NBC runs through 2017, which designates a time where the NFL will heavily consider a major change to TNF or even eliminating it completely.

According to Pro Football Talk, a source with knowledge of the situation says the NFL could pull the plug on the experiment or at least limiting the games.

Via PFT –

The league realizes that, with every team playing once on a short week each season, many of the Thursday games necessarily will have reduced appeal. Adding extra prime-time games to the Sunday/Monday inventory also has created a sense that the league has saturated the marketplace with stand-alone evening games.

Options include (but aren’t limited to) getting rid of Thursday games completely and possibly starting the package at Thanksgiving and continuing it through the end of the season, with games likely to generate broad interest selected in April for November/December programming. Thursday Night Football debuted a decade ago as a device for providing game content for NFL Network, allowing the league-owned operation to generate higher fees from cable and satellite providers.

As the source explained it, the money generated from NFL Network due to the annual slate of exclusive games isn’t large enough to make it an impediment to broader efforts to strike the right balance between giving national audiences enough, but not too much, pro football — and to ensure that games played in prime time are truly worthy of being seen.