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17 Game NFL Season Could Create Multiple Challenges For TV Networks

“Another potential schedule change will be moving one Wild-Card game to Monday night.”

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As the NFL and its network partners put the finishing touches on their TV rights deals, they’re doing so with the expectation of a 17-game schedule.

According to Peter King of NBC Sports, a 17-game schedule is “highly likely” beginning with the 2021 NFL season. The extra home game that comes from an odd numbered schedule would alternate each year by conference. 17 regular season games in 18 weeks also means Super Bowl LVI, currently scheduled for Feb. 6, 2022 in Los Angeles, will be pushed back one week to Sunday Feb. 13. Keeping the Super Bowl as scheduled and beginning the regular season early would mean playing on Labor Day Weekend, a ratings disaster.

In addition to the extra regular season game, King also reports the NFL is considering two Christmas Day games this year, which falls on a Saturday, a move the NBA won’t be pleased about. Last year’s Saints-Vikings matchup on Christmas Day averaged 20.1 million viewers for FOX, their highest non-Sunday rating in more than two years. 

Another potential schedule change will be moving one Wild-Card game to Monday night. Last season, the NFL played six Wild-Card games for the first time ever, but putting one on Monday night would have competed with the college Football National Championship. Moving to a 17-week season means starting the NFL Playoffs after the college football season ends, which opens up the possibility of a Monday night Wild-Card game. 

The league hasn’t made the 17-game regular season official for the 2021-22 season, but there’s no reason to anticipate a delay considering the Players Association agreed to an expanded schedule during last year’s new CBA negotiations. 

Sports TV News

Adele’s ‘Hello’ Used To Hype NBC’s Patriots-Bucs Sunday Night Game

“The 2015 hit was a mainstream success, but the song is slow, and not one you’d expect a network to use to fire up a rabid football audience.”

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During last night’s game between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers, NBC ran a promo to hype next week’s Sunday Night football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots. Tom Brady’s return to Foxboro is expected to produce massive audience interest so hyping up the game via promos is not unexpected.

What was a surprise was the choice of music NBC went with to build the storyline – Adele’s ‘Hello’.

The 2015 hit was a mainstream success, but the song is slow, and not one you’d expect a network to use to fire up a rabid football audience. However, the lyrics help tell the story perfectly, which should add to the build up for one of the most anticipated regular season contests in recent memory.

NBC pulled a few different lines from the song inside of a :45 second promo to help set the scene. The lyric pattern begins with “Hello, it’s me….I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet…So hello from the other side, at least I can say that I’ve tried, it don’t matter, it clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore.”

Kickoff between Tom Brady and the Bucs and Bill Belichick and the Patriots takes place Sunday night October 3rd at 8:20pm ET. Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth will have the call. Football Night in America coverage on NBC starts at 7pm ET.

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Sports TV News

Holly Rowe Joins Utah Jazz Broadcast Team

“Rowe is one of the best known sideline reporters in college sports ESPN. She also covers the WNBA. She will keep those jobs as she adds her new role in Salt Lake City.”

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Holly Rowe is going home. The Utah native has signed on with the Jazz as an analyst on the team’s TV crew.

Rowe is one of the best known sideline reporters in college sports ESPN. She also covers the WNBA. She will keep those jobs as she adds her new role in Salt Lake City. It is a job that has personal meaning to her.

“This is definitely a full circle moment for me,” Holly Rowe said in a press release. “For over 20 years I’ve worked in one capacity or another at different times with the Jazz — pulling cables, stage manager, done jobs in the TV truck, every possible job for them, I’ve done it.”

The job comes with a lot of homecoming moments for Rowe. In addition to returning to Utah and covering the team she grew up rooting for, she will also work alongside Craig Bolerjack, who calls Jazz games on Root Sports Utah. Her first job at ESPN had her working alongside Bolerjack as well.

Bolerjack is happy to work alongside his friend again. This offseason has seen women land signature broadcasting roles with the Bucks and 76ers, but Bolerjack is clear. The Jazz did not hire Holly Rowe to follow some kind of trend.

“She’s been able to plow her way through the diversity in this business of ours, and that says everything you need to know about her. The Jazz happened to have this opportunity and she’s earned her way to it. … She’s earned her way back home. She’s going to be a very strong asset in everything we do, and I can’t wait to start working her again.”

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Sports TV News

AEW Dynamite Moving To TBS

“Wrestling hasn’t been seen on TBS since the network cancelled WCW Thunder in March of 2001.”

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Hockey is coming to TNT. That means wrestling is moving to TBS. The network will be the new home of AEW: Dynamite starting in January.

AEW’s original TV show airs on Wednesdays. That will be the spotlight day of the TNT NHL package. The network will present hockey doubleheaders every Wednesday, leaving no room for wrestling.

TNT won’t be completely out of the AEW business. In a press release, WarnerMedia announced that Friday will still see AEW: Rampage airing on the network. The press release pointed out that Rampage has gotten off to a very hot start for TNT.

“Since its August 13 debut, AEW: Rampage has ranked as one of the top cable programs on Friday night. The second week of the show featuring the debut of CM Punk delivered the strongest ratings for the AEW franchise since the premiere of AEW: Dynamite.”

Wrestling hasn’t been seen on TBS since the network cancelled WCW Thunder in March of 2001. That changes on January 5.

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