BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Each of the 32 teams in the NFL play in at least one Thursday game during the season. The broadcasting rights are currently split between NFL Network, CBS, and NBC, with Twitter digitally streaming 10 of the games, but changes could be on the horizon.
The faltering ratings and lowered viewership during the 2016 season is causing the NFL to take a closer look at what is working and what isn’t as the contracts for broadcasting come to an end in 2017.
According to Pro Football Talk, the league is considering ending, or at least limiting, Thursday Night Football by 2018.
In a statement to CNBC on Monday, the league disputed the report from ProFootballTalk.
“We are fully committed to ‘Thursday Night Football’ and any reports to the contrary are unfounded,” the league said.
Many players and coaches around the league have expressed their disdain for the shortened weeks and added games.
One of the more outspoken players in the league, Seahawks’ Richard Sherman, said, “It’s rough on the body. Any time you play a football game and play another one a few days later, it’s going to be tough on the body. But it’s just another one of those things. Another one of those simple contradictions of the league, ‘because they care about us.'”
So what are the options? Well, the league could do away with the TNF games completely, create a new package or just limit the amount of games per season.
Thursday Night Football debuted about a decade ago as a way for providing more game content for the NFL Network, generate higher fees from cable and satellite providers.