NFL owners are reportedly set to vote on a drastic change involving the league’s scheduling for Thursday Night FOotball.
According to a report from John Ourand and Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal, NFL owners will vote on the chance to implement a rule that would allow the league to flex “Thursday Night Football” games between Weeks 14 and 17:
“Owners will be asked at next week’s league meetings to approve a flex scheduling plan for late-season Thursday games, sources said. The vote also would relax limits on the number of games each team can play on short rest each season.
Both measures would give schedule-makers more flexibility to avoid meaningless games with sub-.500 teams for Prime’s “TNF” window. Historically, the NFL’s Thursday night package has struggled with these types of low-interest games.”
Per Ourand and Fischer, the changes would allow the league to switch games initially scheduled for Sunday afternoons to Thursday evenings for the final four weeks of Thursday Night FOotball, though they would have to be given “15 days’ notice.”
On top of that, a “Yes” would permit the league to “Schedule teams for Thursday games after a previous Sunday game twice in the same season, up from the current limit of once.”
The NFL is permitted to flex games on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” program. Beginning in Week 12 of the 2023 season, the league will also be able to flex ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” contests.
“Thursday Night Football” began back in 2006, with NFL Network airing the broadcasts. CBS Sports took over the broadcasts in 2014, and they held them through the 2017 season.
FOX Sports then won the rights to the “Thursday Night Football” program, airing it from the 2018 NFL season through 2021. Beginning last year, Amazon Prime video began airing the games, with legendary play-by-play commentator Al Michaels and ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit leading the broadcast booth.
Amazon Prime Video will begin its “Thursday Night Football” broadcasts again in Week 2. The annual kickoff game will air on NBC, with the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs scheduled to host a to-be-determined opponent at Arrowhead Stadium.