The 2020 NFL season saw some major changes, along with many new things that it brought to the table. While most of that stemmed from the measures taken against the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing that stood out was the Friday game that it scheduled after a long wait of 11 years.
Seasons after seasons of hesitation to steer clear of a Friday game, the much-awaited gift also arrived on the eve of 25th December, as nothing less of a Christmas gift to the fandom.
While there were no more talks or hints regarding if the subsequent seasons would enjoy a Friday game again, the recent broadcast deal has been followed up with a major development, that a Friday fixture could very well be added to the fixture on Black Friday from 2023 onwards.
Black Friday fixture likely coming to the NFL from 2023
Last week, the NFL expanded their broadcasting deal, worth over a whopping $100 billion, renewing the league’s contract with CBS, ESPN/ABC, Fox, NBC, and Amazon, all the way until the 2033 season.
Alongside each network having been assigned fixtures accordingly, the Thursday Night Football have gone to Amazon, to be broadcasted from the 2023 season onwards as part of the renewed deal.
However, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who earlier termed the new broadcast deal as “another large step” towards the “migration to streaming“, suggested recently that there are high chances that the NFL could be streaming Black Friday games on Amazon.
“Amazon wanted more from us, and they’ll dedicate tremendous resources to make this work for them and for us,” Kraft said in an interview with Peter King of NBC Sports.
“Who knows? Maybe we’ll play a game on Black Friday, their biggest shopping day of the year,” the Patriots owner added.
While there were no hint of surety in Kraft’s words, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated had recently put forward a claim that the idea of a Black Friday fixture was originally a part of Amazon’s renewed deal with the NFL in the first place.
“The league also has the option to give Amazon a “Black Friday” game—probably some pretty good tie-ins there for them—since Amazon won’t get the Thanksgiving night game that traditionally goes to NBC,” Breer insisted in his report.
Since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, the league has seen only 11 games being hosted on Friday, and last year-s Christmas Eve fixture between New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings also came after 11 years, in which the Saints thrashed the visitors 52-33 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Interestingly, the Vikings, along with Los Angeles Rams are the two franchises who have played the most games on Friday: three each (Rams in 1970, 1984, 1986 and Vikings in 1993, 2004, 2020)