Some NFL scheduling nuggets and more, including College Football Playoff and MLB lockout.
Amazon wants a Black Friday game, the NFL isn’t interested
The Sports Business Journal reported Monday that Amazon — which next season is assuming exclusive rights to Friday Night Football — is interested in holding an exclusive NFL game on Black Friday. According to the report, the NFL is “lukewarm” toward the idea.
According to the same report, the NFL plans to continue scheduling the competing double-headers on FOX and CBS in the first week of the season. The network did so for the first time last season, and FOX—which has had the same first week header in years past—has been a hit in the ratings. FOX has reportedly asked the NFL to move the double-headers to later in the season and has been denied.
Additionally, both FOX and CBS have required a Christmas game in the late afternoon this season. FOX has contractual rights to the annual Christmas game in its new media rights deal (when the calendar allows), although it’s not clear if that will start now or when the deal officially begins in 2023. Given that Christmas in On Sunday this year, NBC will be holding its Christmas Peak Match at Sunday Night Football.
CFP staying at four; Big pay day next ten
The College Football Playoff will remain on four teams through an ESPN rights deal for the event in 2026, it was announced Friday. There were discussions about expanding matches to up to 12 teams, and the move was briefly seen as a fait accompli until talks broke down last summer. According to ESPN, the Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 voted against the expansion.
In other college sports news, Sports Business Magazine It was reported last week that a number of industry sources expect the Big Ten to generate more than $1 billion annually in its upcoming media rights deals. The conference is currently in an exclusive negotiation window with ESPN and is expected to expire without a deal, allowing the rights to reach the open market.
MLB says February 28 is the deadline for the deal
Major League Baseball, which last week opted to cancel the first week of spring training as part of the players’ union’s ongoing shutdown, has set in several reports February 28 as the date a new collective bargaining agreement would be required before the cancellation of regular season games could begin. The season is scheduled to begin March 31. It should be noted that leagues can and have played matches under an expired collective bargaining agreement.