NFL Eyes To Spread Games To More Windows This Season
The COVID-19 pandemic still restricts sports leagues to host a full-game season and ultimately prevent game delays. Due to this, the NFL feels lots of pressure. Reports are circulating that the league plans to spread games to more windows to provide more entertainment to fans and bettors.
According to NBC Sports, league owners and other high-ranking NFL officials plan to explore the possibility of expanding this season’s weekly windows to include Tuesday and/or Wednesday night matches on a regular basis. The league already expressed interest in improving the total number of windows during which games can be watched and which matches can be opened to in-game wagers. This wagering angle, after all, would make a promising business model during the pandemic.
The expansion proposal came to light when the league noticed the fans’ positive reaction to unusual broadcast schedules. The COVID-19 pandemic brought changes to the usual broadcast schedule of the NFL. There were multiple Monday night doubleheaders and Tuesday night games this season. Despite this, the number of viewers remained on the rise. No one even complained when the league hosted a late Wednesday afternoon game.
So, yes, scheduling was never an issue to fans and bettors stuck at home. Spreading games to more windows, fortunately, seems feasible. Advanced technology can provide live events and live rooms for sports events. Furthermore, many states already legalized sports wagering and in-game betting in 2020.
One downside of expanding windows, meanwhile, is the possibility of product dilution. This happens when a brand loses its value from overuse. To avoid this, the NFL should ensure that fans would still want to watch football every season by providing newer and newer features.
Another problem that the NFL should avoid is scheduling conflicts. Normally, teams shouldn’t have an excess number of short weeks, and their byes would need to be used strategically. With the proposed expansion, a second bye per team is a must.
Regardless of the league’s decision, the pandemic and each state’s betting laws would surely play a role in the future. The NFL should be smart in signing TV deals and contracts to monetize the expanded and spread-out games.