The first NFL recreation held on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The possibility for TV networks to swap video games. A franchise enjoying two worldwide video games in a single season.
Those are among the huge modifications to the NFL’s 2023 schedule, the primary underneath the league’s new media rights contracts. Signed in 2021, the offers, collectively value about $110 billion, take impact this season with video games set to air throughout CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN and Amazon Prime Video. The NFL additionally inked a seven-year cope with YouTube in December for the rights to stream out-of-market video games for as a lot as $2.5 billion yearly.
“It is, for all intents and functions, a content material supplier for media,” Daniel Durbin, a communication professor on the University of Southern California, stated of the NFL “That’s the place it makes its greatest cash, and so it may bend itself. to serve that finish above gamers, followers, coaches and even groups.”
The league was set to launch its full slate of video games on Thursday evening in a televised broadcast, but it surely leaked some matchups within the days main as much as the official reveal. Over the previous decade, each NFL Network and ESPN have broadcast the schedule reveal in prime time, because the league has efficiently turned low season occasions such because the draft and the scouting mix into TV spectacles.
On Thursday morning, the NFL introduced the regular-season opener, set for Sept. 7, a Thursday: a contest between the Kansas City Chiefs, the reigning Super Bowl champions, and the Detroit Lions, who gained eight of their last 10 video games in 2022. Although 4 Lions gamers, together with receiver Jameson Williams, had been suspended final month for Violating the NFL’s playing coverage, the Lions are anticipated to contend for a playoff spot within the NFC
The Jets had been among the many groups that posted a marquee matchup to social media on Wednesday, celebrating the announcement that the group would host the Black Friday recreation towards the Miami Dolphins on Nov. 24. The recreation will probably be streamed on Amazon, which final yr started broadcasting Thursday evening video games.
The Jets, behind their new quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, will face their longtime AFC East rival on what’s historically one of many greatest procuring days of the yr, the primary time the NFL has held a recreation on that day.
Rodgers’ first recreation for the Jets will probably be a “Monday Night Football” matchup towards the Buffalo Bills in Week 1.
Last season, for the primary time, the NFL broadcast three video games on Christmas Day, which fell on a Sunday, and in doing so instantly challenged the NBA stronghold on that vacation’s TV lineup. With Christmas falling on a Monday this yr, professional soccer has once more stocked the schedule with robust video games that ought to draw viewers.
Kansas City will play the Las Vegas Raiders earlier than the Giants face the reigning NFC champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, in a rematch of final season’s divisional playoff spherical.
In one other change introduced on by the brand new media offers, the NFL will acquire extra freedom to reslot video games on completely different networks and alter kickoff instances with better flexibility. Under the outdated media rights offers, Fox broadcast most NFC highway video games and CBS aired most AFC highway video games, however this season the N.FL. can place a recreation on any community no matter convention.
Where “Monday Night Football” video games had beforehand been locked in firstly of the season, ABC and ESPN can now ask the league to maneuver a Sunday recreation to Monday if there’s a extra compelling matchup than what had been scheduled. Such a transfer can solely be made between Weeks 12 and 17 of the 18-week common season.
Teams can also play a couple of Thursday evening recreation this season, a change that has rankled some gamers. Patrick Mahomes, final season’s most respected participant and one of the crucial common NFL athletes, expressed his displeasure. in a social media put up in March.
In the previous, gamers and coaches have been loath to play on Thursday nights due to the brief turnaround between Sunday video games and matchups that occur 4 days later. Fans and even Al Michaels, the lead broadcaster for Amazon, have complained in regards to the poor high quality of Thursday video games.
“There is not anyone in our group that does not put our followers first,” Commissioner Roger Goodell stated in March. “Obviously, offering the very best matchups for our followers is what we do. That’s a part of what our scheduling has at all times targeted on.”
The NFL will play 5 worldwide video games, persevering with the league’s enlargement efforts abroad. Last season, it added a regular-season recreation in Germany for the primary time, and it’ll return with two in 2023, when Miami faces Kansas City on Nov. 5 and the Indianapolis Colts problem the New England Patriots on Nov. 12.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, who’ve performed in London practically yearly since 2012, will change into the primary NFL group to play two worldwide video games in a single season. The group’s proprietor, Shahid Khan, additionally owns the Premier League group Fulham FC, and the Jaguars will use the soccer membership’s coaching facility between enjoying the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 1 and going through the Bills on Oct. 8.