Column: RICK SOLEM
The NFL will be on CBS on Thursdays for the first half of next season.
No report how much CBS outbid NBC, ABC, Fox and Turner for the rights, but you can bet it was a lot.
In 2011, ESPN renewed its rights for Monday Night Football for $15.2 billion through 2021. The cost worked out to more than $105 million per game.
Thursday night football on national television with Phil Simms and Jim Nantz calling the action will be an upgrade, but for some reason, it’s just an oddity on that night and hard to watch.
Maybe it was the production by the NFL Network. Maybe it’s the teams. Maybe it’s that there is no tradition with it, and moving the games to CBS for only the first eight weeks doesn’t help that.
I think it’s a little of all those factors but none at the same time.
Players are on a schedule. Monday night isn’t that big a jump to that schedule, but Thursday night surely is.
So, it’s the teams and the night, but only because when those teams play Thursdays, they’re so out of sync with their schedule, the game itself suffers. The players don’t perform like they would otherwise – it seems.
It’s a hard theory to prove, but if we don’t flock to the TV on Thursdays to watch it – which could be because not everyone gets the NFL Network – then the players may not be mentally or physically ready, either.
We’re just not that into it … or I’m not, as popular as the NFL is.