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.'”

RELATED: Twitter Launches App To Stream Thursday Night Football

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.

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Comments (119)
  1. Mike Delaney says:

    People are fed up with the player protests and a poor product with too many commercials.

    1. It’s Roger Goodell, ESPN, and his players attacking America. MAGA. Until Goodell goes and ESPN hires some patriotic broadcasters I will continue to tune out the NFL.

    2. Joel Goodman says:


      1. You either believe in free speech or you don’t. I’m no Kaepernick fan, his protests are misguided at best but he has every right to express them. I have every right to think him a fool.

    3. Judy Burd says:

      I have had it with the refs. Watching Monday night Eagles player get held and dropped NO CALL but greenbay player get his jersey tugged for a 1/2 second and they call it. It is clear to everyone that some teams are the favorite of the NFL and the refs are calling games to get the popular teams in the playoff. This is a total joke.

    1. Mike Delaney says:

      I would agree with that as well.

  2. Have never watched less NFL football in decades.

    1. Steve Austin says:

      until they hire professional refs who actually watch what they are supposed to be watching cancel all NFL games. Dallas cowboys hold receivers every play, even mug them in front of the refs, and the res are too busy watching the cheerleaders.

  3. voodoodaddy1 says:

    Get rid of the showboaters like Sherman as well as the mindless political theatre hacks like Kaepernick first. Then I might watch a game again. And dump Monday and Thursday night football.

  4. Ra Williams says:

    Easy fix. It all started with liberal announcers from NBC and ESPN, and Kaepernick spitting on the nation every game. Man up NFL TV!

    1. Carter Stamm says:

      Wont happen. The only set of balls at the Gooddel house is the dogs or maybe his wife.

  5. Larry Porter says:

    Want to fix the NFL? Get rid of that jerk commissioner!

  6. ben (@neaon) says:

    Really the easiest answer (to me) is to always have the TNF game follow teams’ bye weeks. Then instead of having 13 days off they have 10 off, then the following week they would have 9 days off (not accounting for MNF obviously). Actually makes a ton of sense, and would be a nice way to ease in players after a break.

    1. Some weeks 4 or 6 teams have a bye.

  7. Colin Kaepernick’s fundamental transformation of the NFL.

  8. Kaepernick called out the country and everything it stands for, and NFL management, coaches, commentators etc. just stand there and take it looking like punks as their own country and flag are trashed every Sunday.

    1. they need to learn that their at consequences to this actions I will not watch anymore sports on tv as long as the disrespect our flag and the country they live in they do not like it they can go to another country and see how they are treated there

      1. Ray Jacobsen says:

        You are not the only one. The NFL needs to get the message, Highly paid athletes who disrespect their country & customers may no loner be “highly paid”

  9. Ed Cole says:

    If you want to recover audience for the NFL, cut the unpatriotic players. Also, clean up the thud image of too many of the players. Whether they care or not, they are role models. It’s one thing to have morals clauses, and other to ENFORCE them. Do Both. Additionally, reduce the commercial interruptions. Reduce the officiating interruptions through advanced automation technology tracking the exact position of every player and the ball on the field at all times. Either change the name of the sport officially to Flag Football, to match what the league is already doing through over regulation, or accept that it is a contact sport and let the players choose to play for millions of $ or to become accountants if they don’t want to get tackled anymore. Get rid of Thursday night football, or better yet, start the Monday Thursday, and Sunday night games game no later than 7PM Eastern time, so people on the East coast don’t have to choose between seeing the entire game and being tired the next day at work. Lastly: Get Rid of Cris Collinsworth. I specifically never watch Sunday Night Football solely because of Collinsworth being intolerably annoying.

  10. Far too much time for Dumb A$$ commercials. A turnoff for me.

  11. Get rid of Goodell and politics and we’ll be right back in the stands NFL. We watch football to get away so if Goodell stays Jerry Jones, Bob Craft and other owners our executive suites in 3 cities will remain vacant.

  12. Players don’t respect the flag and this country then no need to watch them play. Games are too long, too many official replays/reviews, and I could go on.

  13. Please do cancel, we are pretty tired Kap and his afro. Used to play and love football, not anymore, those days are over.

  14. Edward Foley says:

    NFL games are boring and fixed. Eliminate the NFL from TV and let the live stream their games on the Chinese Internet.

  15. I have never watched a Thursday night NFL — Except when Da Bears were playing. Same with never watching a Sunday or Monday night game. The NFL is NOT ‘must watch TV’, especially now. Not with all the politics and the CRIMINALS who are happily signed and played. And I’m not speaking of those taking Performance Enhancing Drugs as criminals. I’m speaking of ‘players’ like Michael Vick who should have been banned for life. But no, the NFL celebrated his return like he was some kind of hero. Utterly sickening!

  16. I got this figured out NFL, you need to hire me. You need to have games on every night except Sundays. You need to divide the teams up into 6 scheduling groups. Each team gets 8 day rest between games, so they move every week to the next night on the schedule, then start over again. Have your people call my people and we’ll schedule my interview, thank you very much!

  17. Kill the Thursday games except for the ones on Thanksgiving.

  18. Jerry Walton says:

    Thursday night football over saturated the market. It’s been mostly bad games at a bad time. Do away with it now.

  19. cut the number, but set it up so that teams that have a bye week play the following Thursday. Its alot on the body to play Sunday then Thursday. So, perhaps there are 8 Thursday games, to coincide with the 8 times there are bye weeks. And 2, have some decent match-ups like the Cowboys and Redskins, or Giants and Patriots. Let it be rivalry games.

  20. Greg Hazard says:

    Fire Goodell….that would be a good start!!!

  21. Let’s see, where to begin. First of all, dropping TNF is not the answer, not a bad idea but it’s a band aid on a sucking chest wound. How about letting a player celebrate a touchdown/sack/interception, no that won’t work because it might hurt some losers feelings. Basically this is a violent game, some rules are in place for a reason, but if you sack a QB and he gets buried, no flag. He’s a big boy, if you are worried cover him in bubble wrap.
    How about another, the ground can’t cause a fumble. What are they talking about? Case in point:
    I put you on the roof with a football, I push you off, you hit the ground and let go of the ball.
    Did the act of me pushing you off the roof cause the fumble, NO!
    Did you screaming on the way down cause the fumble, NO!
    Did you hitting the ground cause the fumble? I kinda think you know where I’m going with this.
    Like I said, they are big boys, how about letting them tell you how the game should be played. They get hurt remind them what they take home at the end of the day. If 40 years down the road they become a babbling wreck that was their choice not to wear the bubble wrap. Then again, the NFL/Owner should be putting a lot of cash aside to take care of those guys that didn’t make the millions later on in life. They helped your bottom line it’s time to step up and don’t forget them.
    Then there is Kaepernick, nice going SF owner and the NFL, let’s not offend anyone by doing the right thing.
    I really miss the XFL…

  22. Jim Banks says:

    What is Thursday Night Football?
    Seriously, the Commissioner of a 501c3 gets paid $40,000,000 a year and does not have the juice or the stones to stop a hair tree from giving the finger to every vet . That’s why i don’t watch! I did switch channels last night to get the KC-Denver score. They were still playing, so I got to see the last 1 1/2 minutes! Fun and no politics. WOW!

  23. Disgusted by the sudden anti-American protests. Still follow my Redskins, but this season have watched little else.

  24. pay me what they are paid and i will play a game everyday. i would be lazy though. especially if not on a winning team. TAKE THE MONEY AND SHUT UP. BE LAZY.

  25. Lisa Aldrich says:

    After watching one game yesterday, I decided it was a total waste of time to be held hostage by 2 and a half hours of commercials and only about a half hour of actual football. No more, I’m done

  26. If I wanted to see people disrespect the flag and our country I will
    just watch all of the commie protestors.

  27. Bill Bourque says:

    I think its because of too many Peyton Manning commercials.

  28. Steve Austin says:

    drop Thursday, Monday night, Sunday night, and Sunday day games.

  29. If the NFL would just fire about 5 or 6 BlackLivesMatter racists they could probably earn an extra $1-2 billion by the end of the season.

  30. Joel Wright says:

    In any given season, there simply aren’t enough good teams or compelling match-ups to consistently fill up the national broadcasts of late Sunday afternoon, Sunday night, Monday night, and Thursday night games every week.

  31. Kate Casey says:

    Until the politics are out, I won’t turn it on. It’s that simple.

  32. Rigged Super Bowls. Refs throwing flags for everything they thought they might have seen and then reviewing the play and killing a teams momentum. Las Vegas odds and Injury reports. Big money. Tons of commercials. Staying up late on a work night. Political opinions of commentators. Politics period. Whether or not if it’s ok to sit during the National Anthem of a country many of us signed our lives away to defend.

  33. This year I have watched about 60 minutes of NFL football. Not too long ago I watched about 2 full games each week.


    Stop making the game a poor imitation of the CFL and bring back the running game. You do that by going back to the 15 yard holding penalty and going back to the old PI rules.
    End the ridiculous overtime and either go back to ties or play football for a complete 10-15 minute period.
    End the on field celebrations and pregame protests. And please stop these inane announcers and pundits from lecturing on freedom of speech every time some punk takes a knee. It is as specious as the “separation of church and state” argument we here in other venues.

  34. Ted Cooke says:

    I can solve the NFL’s ratings drop. 1) Stop adding new rules only designed to reduce contact, 2) Show the singing of the Anthem at the beginning of every broadcast, and show only those players honoring the flag, and 3) stop espousing Leftist causes and blaming contact for brain damage and spousal abuse, that’s ridiculous; an OSHA study from the 60’s through 90’s showed that NFL players were healthier than their non-NFL counterparts, were more intelligent, lived longer and had lower rates of spousal abuse, other crimes and incarceration. If the Left really wanted women to be safer they’d want every man to be a classic NFL football player. And if the league had any sense they would roll back and stick with the same basic rules which created so much personal and league success in the 60’s through 90’s.

  35. Dusty Rhodes says:

    When players stand for our national anthem and show respect for the nation they live in and that pays them so well for playing their favorite game, I’ll start watching again.

    Thus spoke Middle America.

  36. soooooooooooo stinkin tired of football…pure idolatry…

  37. Jo Penny says:

    Future contracts need to punish behavior that costs the owners customers and money.
    Or is that too much common sense for liberals who never ran a business in their lives?

  38. People are thinking this is about political protests, but i beg to differ.

    This is about a sport that has been ‘pussified’ by the league as compared to the way the game was played just a decade ago. New rules designed to protect players from injury have created a game that has lost its masculine appeal.

    Having women on the sidelines is great and everything, but everyone knows that is a political move to appease more than it is to put the best analytical minds to work.

    So, the game has actually been ‘pussified’ twice.

  39. John Smith says:

    Lets make Monday night next.Then Sunday Night.

  40. Maybe if the players quit insulting the fans? Not a good business plan.

  41. Jim Wolfson says:

    I don’t want to risk oppressing multimillionaire mouthbreathing morons by paying to watch them play kids’ games. So I won’t be doing that.

  42. Mary George says:

    Mr.Goodell get rid of the politics.Stop wearing pink outfits and pink ribbons.Stop catering to women cancer organizations.Get rid of the Medusa hair dos,the afos,and the tattoos.Clean up the players.Cut the hair,get rid of the Muslim beards and cover up the tattoos.Shut your mouths players.Play hard ass man football and stop whining about having to play more than one game in a week.You players are paid too much and you have become soft girly men.You players have become ghetto trash.Get rid of E.S.P.M.S. and the liberal networks.Hire some clean cut football players.Mr.Goodell fire yourself. Vince Lombardi,Tom Landry,Johnny Unitas and Roger Staubach were around in the good old days of football.

  43. Jns Eq says:

    Kaepernick, the Left’s poster boy and his ignorant, overpaid ilk are the reason I finally quit watching the NFL this year after the opening Thursday night game — and it appears that I am not alone despite excuses by the league of electoral politics, too many official conferences, too many commercials and the like.

    Pink sneakers for a politically correct disease (where are the blue ones for testicular cancer?); wife-beating in hotel elevators; felonious thugs running rampant when they are out of uniform; the league’s effort to destroy Dr. Omalu for his audacity in seeking to protect players from concussions…

    Despite all that I still watched. I watched until Comrade Kaepernick deigned to re-educate me as to the Obama-like detestation I should be feeling for my country that enriched the two of their ungrateful selves despite their own questionable “talents.”

    Interestingly, this former NFL junkie hasn’t missed it one tiny bit.

    You listening, Roger? Pssst… I don’t care. 🙂

  44. Instead ditch the players who protest America, protest America’s Flag and Anthem, and bench anyone who believes the police kill blacks due to racism, when the exact opposite is true, namely that police kills blacks the LEAST of all demographics and for every one black person being killed there are seventeen police killed by blacks.
    Make Football the Great American Sport Again and stop the lies of racism and police hatred. And then we will watch, spend money, and support the NFL.

  45. I think canceling the Thursday night games is a great idea. Why, next let’s do away with Monday Night too, because let’s face it, ratings are off there too. Won’t be any time at all until the cancel Sunday games too and that is just fine for a lot of us. Why don’t you NFL clowns take a knee while the patriots in the land take a stand for our pledge and our flag?

  46. Three of the next four TNFs are great games…Cowboys-Vikings…Raiders-Chiefs…Giants Eagles…These will be big draws in their markets…maybe not nationally, but all contenders and in Raiders Chiefs a matchup of the top two in West. TNF not going away.

  47. Jc Chastang says:

    I have not watched or attended a game this year, and after 33 yrs giving up my 4 seats and now that I have found other interests its the end of the NFL for me.

  48. Have players salaries adjusted each year to reflect league profitability.

  49. End the entire League. The NFL is entirely corrupt.

  50. Lars LaRue says:

    The NFL has been infiltrated by globalists and have destroyed the game by inserting their hidden global agenda of gun control, global governance, public indoctrination, and establishing preparatory FEMA centers. Professional football has actually been ruined by a bunch of greedy psychopaths.

    You want your football fix, then support your local high school, Jr. college, and college amateur programs and starve these greedy globalist miscreants out of existence. If we don’t do it now we will suffer the next spectacle of “Super-Bowl of Hunger Games”… It is only a matter of time. Run out their time before they run your out.

  51. The NFL seems to be following the same flawed logic the Dems have been up until recently..thinking their continued success is somehow guaranteed regardless of who they allow represent them on the the field and that the public will continue to tolerate being insulted and taken for idiots. My best guess is this decline is going to continue.

    1. Correction: the Dems haven’t learned a damn thing yet…

  52. Until the NFL address the antics of their players on the field disrespecting the flag, anthem and veterans as they have, their numbers and revenue will continue to drop. I hear the NBA is going to follow suit. Thank goodness I don’t watch NBA at all. I’m tired of overpaid whining crybabies. STAND FOR THE ANTHEM AND BE GLAD YOU HAVE A JOB THAT PAYS YOU BIG BUCKS.

  53. Drop Krapernick and the other thugs who hate the country that made them millionaires and the ratings may improve.

  54. Go back to Monday night football! No one I know likes Thursday nights, for the fact that there is NO games on Saturday until the playoffs. It was great to have all day/night Sunday and then a Monday night game. I also LOATHE the constant ‘flashing” of “TNF” at every play and commercial. It’s annoying and distracting.

  55. Ray Brown says:

    If they sacked that sack of pig excrement Kaepernick and tell the rest of the players they are employees of the NFL and if they cannot conduct themselves as such they will go as well, viewership would skyrocket!

  56. my interest in NFL is at its lowest this year, the game is getting slow and boring

  57. Consider sacking the insolent players, to restore your image as wholesome American entertainment rather than a platform for low IQ thugs to display their repugnant politics.

  58. oh, is there something called thursday night football? i wouldn’t know.
    i haven’t seen any football. i was an avid fan until this year, and, well, you know.
    that’s it, i’m done and i won’t be back.

  59. Ron Gallat says:

    Too little too late. The NFL has jumped the shark, and for a whole host of reasons I just don’t care anymore. I tried watching a game yesterday, eventually muted the sound and watched a little longer, and then decided I just didn’t care and turned it off to enjoy life’s greater pleasures. I’m done.

  60. Dave Allen says:

    I heard the NFL is sending Colin Kaepernick so Cuba for the Castro funereal and when he gets back he’s going to a Flag Burning.

  61. Russell Sias says:

    I flat out don’t care what they do. I quit watching them all, when they tolerated disrespecting our country. You know, the one that has given each and every one of them so very much!

  62. As long as the NFL refuses to look at the real reason they are losing viewers the they will soon be shutting down entirely.

  63. Tod Perry says:

    Might as well since the NFL is to STUPID to stop the players from dishonoring our country which IS what causing the ratings to drop.
    –Americans do NOT want to see people disrespecting our men and women who fought and died for these players to play foot ball and make them rich and until the NFL grows a pair and does what Americans want and stop this disrespect ratings will only get worse.
    –Make the NFL pro American again instead of anti American like it is now !

  64. Wes Schmitt says:

    If an NFL player does not like the United States as we exist, they should stay in the locker room during our National Anthem. Insulting America in public is why the NFL has lost all support.

  65. Tree Fidy says:

    Haven’t watched a single game this year. Reason – disrespect toward the flag and the country.

  66. The Kapernick legacy. He is dumb as a rock and pathologically destructive.

  67. There is no such thing as free speech in a private setting. NFL could stop his antics if they wanted to

  68. They should consider getting the players off their knees, keep their political and racist opinions away from the game. Then, maybe things will pick up. Until then, “boycott”

  69. Disgusted with anti-American protest’s and players acting like politicians, could care less about the NFL now !

  70. Kim A Kirk says:

    You mean people are tired of watching over-paid, uneducated, foul mouthed, immature young idiots play a once great game that they’ve ruined? Shazam…. who knew.

  71. A few things that need to be addressed and I think the NFL will get its ratings back.

    1. Control player taunting, celebrating, dancing, and most all childish behavior with stiff fines, and I mean really big fines, to both the players and the teams. When I’m at work and complete a task or make good for the company I don’t run around the office woohoo’ing, chest bumping whoever is in my way, and do a stupid dance at the water cooler. Enough of this already. Do your job and be humble about it.

    2. Do not allow protesting of any form on the field and when in your team’s uniform. This is not restricting free speech. If a player wants to stand up for a cause, no matter how misguided, he can do it on his own time. Again, big fines and or suspension for any violations.

    3. No more pink Octobers or Camo Novembers. The league can support these causes all it wants, but when it is game time the only focus on the field should be professional football.

    4. Dump Goodell. Nothing more needs to be said.

  72. Ditch Thursday Night Football and bring back Saturday football when college football season is over. Some of us football junkies need our fix on Saturday, not Thursday.

  73. Al Bore says:

    I’m amazed that the NFL top brass, and especially the rest of the players, would allow that idiot Colin Kaepernick to single-handedly kill the goose that laid the golden egg with his hateful, disrespectful and ignorant “protest” against the national anthem and police officers. When the fans walk away from the NFL for good, I hope Colin understands what an a–hole he truly is.

  74. Herb Rapoza says:

    Touchdown, break for commercials, PAT, break for commercials, kick off, break for commercials. 15 minutes to see 3 plays. Count me out.

  75. Chris Cook says:

    Good. Hopefully, the ingrate Commies fold.

  76. Dave Dykstra says:

    They need to drop their political correctness and anti-America shtick.

  77. mustcrochet says:

    People have had enough of the leftist liberal agenda being pushed by the NFL and ESPN. The NFL is for playing football. ESPN is for commentating. Leave the politics at the door. Viewers don’t want to hear your political rants – they want to watch a game. We are also tired of Colin Kaepernick and his continual displays of stupidity and the 49ers doing nothing about it. I can’t wait till major league baseball starts in the Spring!

  78. Aw, poor Richard Sherman cant play two games in 4 days…. Rugby players sometimes play three in a week. Soccer players play 5 in 14 days often times. But padded and armored American footballers cant handle it.

  79. A few of my complaints about the NFL that have caused me to stop watching it all together.
    Seems to me they hardly ever do a replay unless it’s under review or it’s going to the highlight reel. I’d like to see some replays from time to time, they play more than enough commercials during a game that used to cover two games.
    Start throwing the flag for these defensive guys that celebrate every other play like they just won the Super Bowl. Settle your butt down and either go back to the huddle or hussle it off the field.
    The final straw was Kaepernick and the people like him that not only disrespect the game but America as well. There is a time and place for everything. Our relax time during a football game is not a time for your protest/political views.
    I’m done!

  80. Better to sack Goodell, sack all political commentary from players, sack the horrible rules and sack 1/3 of those commercials.

    Curious why the NFL can’t figure out that these are the problems?

  81. Maybe start with a little partiotic respect for the flag that your viewers feel very strongly about. Why should we patronize a sport that shows public hatred for our police, and our country?

  82. Fire Colin K and watch the customers return.
    It isn’t rocket science.

  83. How about ditching the whole thing? Overweight, overpaid chuckleheads throwing a pigskin around trying to pile up on top of each other. The worst “sport” ever. Doesn’t get any dumber than NFL. Colin? He’s a symptom of the problem: spoiled ignorant fatties.

  84. dlethe says:

    They only need one Thursday game. Thanksgiving day, between the Cowboys and Redskins.

  85. NFL is dead. nobody cares —from older set 60+ to < under 30/ It is irrelevant and the gravy train for owners is DONE. They are living off dumb network executives.

  86. Reading this article informed me. I did not realize every team gets a Thurs night spot. I thought they decided by some other method.

  87. hellandahandbasket says:

    The power of the purse – The consumer has ALWAYS had the purse-power, and the Liberal/Feminist-Cult just pushed us into using that power. [slow hand clap]

  88. Get rid of that Americans traitors (like Kaepernick) and you might see your revenues increase. As long as you defy the will of the people, you will continue to suffer losses…

  89. Troy Dynes says:

    I think people really don’t care for the antics of the millionaire prima donna jocks. If I what to view drama, I’ll tune in Jerry Springer.

  90. Bill Wiesen says:

    Never see it anyways, won’t pay extra for Thursday night football.

  91. Dave Park says:

    The match ups are dull, the games start too late, get over too late and ther are way too many commercials.

  92. Besides the officiating, ROGER GOODELL HASN’T AND isn’t doing right by the fans or the NFL! The NFL made a big mistake giving this GOOF the power they did, MUCH LESS pay him the kind of money they did.
    Parity? Yeah in some cases, but you shouldn’t pull the stunts he pulled to reign in the teams that were playing smart and have top shelf management. Some games still aren’t worth watching!