The NFL will take advantage of Christmas Day which falls on Sunday.
The league will hold three games on December 25 for the first time: two in the afternoon on CBS and Fox, followed by a prime-time contest on NBC. NFL Vice President of Broadcasting Mike North revealed the trio in a podcast hosted by WGR Radio host and Buffalo Bills side reporter Sal Cappuccio.
“Christmas, when NFL game day falls, we’ve had a lot of success there, all due respect to our NBA friends. It’s something our friends care about,” North said. “If Christmas falls on a Sunday, that makes perfect sense.”
This will be the third year in a row that the league has played at Christmas. Last year, Green Bay’s victory over Cleveland 24-22 earned an average of 28.6 million viewers on Fox, making it the third most-watched game of the 2021 regular season. Indianapolis’ 22-16 win averaged Arizona 12.6 million over NFL Network, the second highest-watched game in network history.
For Week 16, the league game will take place on Thursday evening, December 22nd. Eleven games will be played on December 24, including a night game on the NFL Network. After the Christmas Trilogy, the week will conclude with a Monday Night Contest on December 26.
There were 24 NFL games played on Christmas Day, including two post-season games in 1971. The most famous game on December 25 remains Miami’s 27-24 win in double overtime on the Federation Division Tour Asian.
The three NFL games would put it in direct competition with the NBA, which had a long day to itself. The NBA has played five games every December 25 for the past 14 seasons.
North added that the NFL will play at least two Christmas games on December 25 when the holiday falls on Monday.
This year’s Christmas games will be revealed in the week of May 9. The league announced on Thursday that the full schedule would be released on May 12. However, the first “Thursday Night Football” game will be revealed on Prime Video during the first round of the NFL Draft on April 28, and the International Games on May 4.
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