The first Thanksgiving weekend NFL game. The ability for broadcasters to switch shows. A team that travels abroad twice in one season.
These are just a few examples of the significant adjustments made to the 2023 NFL schedule as a result of the league’s new television rights deal. The agreements, which were signed in 2021 and are worth an estimated $110 billion, will allow CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN, and Amazon Prime Video to broadcast games this season. In December, the NFL signed a seven-year contract with YouTube for the rights to broadcast games outside of local markets for a reported $2.5 billion.
The league was planning to disclose its complete schedule in a live show on Thursday night, but it leaked several matches in the days preceding up to the big revelation. Since the league has been so successful at turning off-season events like the draught and the scouting combine into TV spectacles, both NFL Network and ESPN have televised the schedule release during prime time for the last decade.
The National Football League said Thursday morning that the first game of the 2022 season would be played on Thursday, September 7th, between the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and the previously undefeated Detroit Lions. Despite losing receiver Jameson Williams and three other players last month to suspensions for gambling violations, the Detroit Lions are still favourites to make the NFC playoffs.
On Wednesday, the Jets and other clubs celebrated the news that they will host the Black Friday game against the Miami Dolphins on November 24 by posting a marquee matchup on social media. Amazon, which started airing Thursday night games last year, will be streaming the game.
For the first time in NFL history, the Jets will take the field with new quarterback Aaron Rodgers against their longstanding AFC East opponent on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
Rodgers and the Jets open the season on “Monday Night Football” against the Buffalo Bills.
When Christmas Day was a Sunday last season, for the first time ever, the National Football League televised three games on that day, thus challenging the NBA’s dominance of the Christmas Day television schedule. Despite the holiday occurring on a Monday this year, the NFL has once again loaded the calendar with compelling matchups.
The Chiefs will take on the Raiders in Las Vegas, and then the N.F.C. champion Eagles will go to New York for a rematch with the Giants from last year’s divisional round.
As a result of the new media contracts, the NFL will have more leeway in deciding when games air and what time they start off. This season, the NFL may put a game on any network, regardless of conference, unlike in previous years when Fox televised most N.F.C. road games and CBS aired most A.F.C. road games.
Instead of being set in stone at the beginning of the season, “Monday Night Football” games may now be moved from Sunday to Monday if ABC and ESPN feel that there is a more enticing matchup. Only during Weeks 12 through 17 of the 18-week season is such a switch permissible.
Some players are upset that their team may have to play many games on Thursday nights this season. Last year’s Most Valuable Player and one of the most well-known NFL players, Patrick Mahomes, vented his frustrations online in March.
Historically, both teams have been reluctant to play on Thursday evenings because to the short turnaround time between games on Sunday and those four days later. Fans and even Amazon’s top announcer, Al Michaels, have criticised the poor production values of Thursday games.
In March, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell declared, “There isn’t anybody in our organisation that doesn’t put our fans first.” Obviously, what we do is provide our supporters the finest possible pairings. That’s always been a consideration in our planning.
The National Football League will continue its worldwide growth by playing five games in other countries. In 2022, the NFL played its first regular season game in Germany; in 2023, two games will be played there: on November 5 between Miami and Kansas City.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, who have visited London almost year since 2012, will make history this year by playing two games abroad, making them the first N.F.L. club to do so. Between their October 1 game against the Atlanta Falcons and their October 8 game against the Buffalo Bills, the Jaguars will utilise the training facilities of Shahid Khan’s other Premier League team, Fulham F.C.