UPDATED: NFL is now denying reports of scaling back… (2:55pm 11/28/16)
— theScore (@theScore) November 28, 2016
The NFL may be in the works to erasing one of its weekly events in the near future. Per a report by Mike Florio of NBCSports, the NFL may be considering a cancellation of their Thursday Night Football games. Florio states that the NFL is in talks to alter or end their TNF programming after the contract between CBS and NBC completes at the end of the 2017 season.
The report states:
With mounting criticism of the quality of every-week Thursday football, scattered suggestions have emerged in recent weeks that the NFL could pull the plug on the experiment. Those suggestions are stronger than that; per a source with knowledge of the situation, the league will be considering the possibility of ending, or at least limiting, Thursday Night Football.
There are a number of options to deal with the bevy of TNF games. Some proposed are simple scale backs of the TNF programming instead of cancelling it all together.
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.
It seems that the NFL has heard the stark criticism of the TNF programming and aim to fix many of the issues therein. Games, such as the bout between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans, have been criticized this season for not being deserving of the spot of a primetime game. Florio alludes to this attitude being recognized by the NFL in these discussions.
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.