There are new changes to the NFL Schedule in 2023
On Monday afternoon, the NFL announced that it will release the schedule for the 2023 season on Thursday May 11th at 8pm EST. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the NFL schedule will undergo some changes this season.
Schefter revealed via Twitter on Monday evening the following changes:
The NFL will have a game on Black Friday
Games will no longer belong exclusively to networks
Teams can play on Thursday Night Football more than once
Not every team will play in a primetime game.
The changes to the NFL schedule are significant. With the addition of a Black Friday game, the NFL will have two days over a holiday weekend for increased viewership, similar to Christmas Eve and Christmas.
The next change is that games will no longer be exclusively owned by networks, which will allow fans to watch the best possible games. Previously, networks could protect games, restricting them from being moved and leading to boring games. This change will help prevent such situations.
In addition, not all teams will play in a primetime game, indicating that the NFL is focused on maximizing viewership by avoiding bad or small-market teams playing in primetime.
The final change is that teams can play more than one Thursday Night Football game. This may not be received well by NFL players, given the already tight turnaround from Sunday to Thursday. The NFL could mitigate this by ensuring teams only play Thursday Night games following a bye week or back-to-back Thursday Night games. While the other changes make sense, this one has the potential to backfire.
It will be intriguing to see how these changes unfold, but it appears that the NFL’s objective is to maximize viewership with these modifications.