On Thursday night, the NFL released their full 2022 regular season schedule and it did not take long to notice that our Detroit Lions did not get a single primetime game.
A day later, Michael North, who is the NFL's vice president of broadcast planning and scheduling, attempted and failed to explain why the Lions do not have a single Thursday night, Sunday night, or Monday night game during the upcoming season.
“Unattractive is not the right word,” North said during a conference call with media on Friday. “We certainly looked at schedules as we searched through the infinite space, somewhere in the 119,000 schedule (options) we looked at, was Detroit on the Monday Night Football schedule? Absolutely, yes.”
According to Justin Rogers of The Detroit News, North noted that the NFL also considers 4:25 p.m. ET games as “primetime” matchups.
Uh… The Lions do not have any 4:25 p.m ET games either.
“The real thing for us, again, is we look at them as national windows,” North said. “We can never lose sight of the fact that that Thanksgiving afternoon window, that 12:30 window in Detroit, most years, is the No. 2 or No. 3 most-watched NFL game every year.
“There’s no hesitation to put the Lions in a national window like that,” North continued. “They were nothing if not frisky last year. They gave a lot of good teams a lot of good games. Having them on Thanksgiving, you can certainly make a pretty compelling argument they’re going to get a lot more eyeballs on that one than they would if they had one, standalone Monday night game or one standalone Thursday game.”
Onnie Bose, NFL vice president of broadcast added that the league's goal is to bring the best games in the best windows to their fans.
“How do we put that schedule out and make sure to balance all the needs of the teams and the competitive aspects, first and foremost, football, on the field?,” Bose said.
“Then, the considerations of media partners, new media partners, the reality of 272 games now and each of them representing an asset, maximizing that, and bringing our best games in the best windows to our fans. That’s the bottom line.”
Nation, are you upset that the Lions are not playing on primetime this coming season?