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FOX Very Happy With NFL Schedule

Brandon Contes

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The NFL announced their schedule for the 2020 season Thursday evening and with it came a star-studded slate of games for FOX Sports. The FOX schedule kicks off with a matchup of two future hall-of-famers in Drew Brees and Tom Brady, as number 12 takes the field in a Buccaneers uniform for the first time. 

In addition to their Week 1 broadcast of the Bucs and Saints from New Orleans Sunday, Sept. 13, FOX will feature elite quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson throughout the season. 

Highlighted matchups for America’s Game Of The Week, television’s No. 1 show for 11 straight years include:

• Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks (Week 3)
• San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints (Week 10)
• Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings (Week 11)
• Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (Week 16)

Thursday Night Football will air exclusively on NFL Network weeks 2, 3 and 4, but beginning Week 5, the games will also be featured on FOX. Top Thursday Night Football games include division rivals Giants and Eagles in Week 7, an NFC Championship game rematch between the Packers and 49ers in Week 9, Cowboys-Ravens Week 13 and Vikings-Saints Week 16. On Thanksgiving Day, FOX will provide the country with a classic NFC East matchup, Redskins-Cowboys. 

FOX Sports’ playoff schedule includes one NFC Wild Card Game for Jan 9 or 10, two NFC Divisional games Jan 16 or 17, culminating with the NFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 24. 

Sports TV News

3.72 Million Tune In To See LeBron James Break Scoring Record

Jordan Bondurant

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Lakers star LeBron James surpassed the NBA’s all-time scoring record on Tuesday night, and TNT benefitted from the milestone ratings wise.

According to Sports Media Watch, Tuesday night’s game averaged 2.98 million viewers. That figure made it TNT’s biggest regular season audience in over two years.

The broadcast peaked at 3.72 million around 11:45 p.m. when James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the record.

Reporting also indicated that the game was the number one single-network program on TV in key demographics.

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Sports TV News

Disney Makes ESPN Independent Division In Corporate Restructuring

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN

Disney is in the process of reorganizing and restructuring the company, and details have emerged about the company’s plans for ESPN.

Deadline reported on Wednesday that ESPN will be one of three standalone segments comprising Disney. Entertainment and Parks, Experiences & Products are the other two segments.

The reorganization comes amid the exit of former CEO Bob Chapek and the re-entry of CEO Bob Iger. As one of Iger’s first moves back running Disney, he announced a restructuring of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

It was also reported that Jimmy Pitaro will continue as the president of ESPN.

In total, more than 7,000 jobs will be eliminated after the restructuring.

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Sports TV News

Roger Goodell: ‘Wouldn’t Surprise Me’ To See Thursday Night Football Move to Flex Scheduling

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon.”

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Thursday Night Football

In 2023, Monday Night Football will join Sunday Night Football in having the ability to flex NFL games into its window. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday Night Football could someday join that elite club.

During his “State of the League” speech Wednesday, Goodell said Thursday Night Football having the ability to flex matchups “wouldn’t at all surprise me”.

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon,” the NFL Commissioner said.

ESPN bargained for the ability to move higher profile games into Monday Night Football during its negotiations with the league for the next television contract that begins this upcoming season.

NBC has long held the ability to shift a select number of games from earlier windows into the Sunday Night Football primetime slot.

Amazon Prime Video just completed the first of an 11-year contract that sees the streaming platform spend nearly $1 billion per year on the Thursday Night Football package.

One of the largest storylines of Amazon’s debut season with the NFL was the near-constant ridicule from play-by-play announcer Al Michaels over the lackluster TNF schedule. Michaels made headlines over several weeks for his candor on the lack of interesting matchups, going as far as to joke that if the schedule didn’t improve he would retire.

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