The NFL is delivering their 2022 regular season schedule to teams on Thursday, May 12th, but there are some intricacies of the schedule which are being released. One of those details is based on the fact Christmas day falls on a Sunday this year.
While some thought the league would have a full slate of game on Christmas, the league plans on playing the majority of its games on Saturday, with only three on Christmas day. The lineup on Christmas day should resemble the lineup on Thanksgiving which football fans have grown to love.
The league will have three games on Dec. 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 tripleheader on a podcast hosted by WGR radio host and Buffalo Bills sideline reporter Sal Capaccio.
“Christmas, when it falls on an NFL game day, we’ve had a lot of success there, all due respect to our friends at the NBA. It is something that our friends are interested in,” North said. “If Christmas falls on a Sunday, it makes perfect sense.”
The NBA, who has long had marquee matchups on the holiday, will likely see a decline in their ratings with the NFL, who dominates all other sports, having marquee matchups of their own on the holiday.
This isn’t the first year the NFL has had games on Christmas, in fact it is the third straight year the league has played a game on Christmas. Schefter cites just how many people watched last year’s game between the Green Bay Packers and the Cleveland Browns.
Last year, Green Bay’s 24-22 victory over Cleveland averaged 28.6 million viewers on Fox, making it the third-most-watched game of the 2021 regular season. Indianapolis’ 22-16 win at Arizona averaged 12.6 million on NFL Network, the second-highest-viewed game in network history.
So, what will the slate of games actually look like in Week 16? According to Schefter, there will be a Thursday night game on December 22nd, 11 games on Christmas Eve, including a night game, and the triple header on Christmas day. Also, there will be a regularly scheduled Monday Night Football game on December 26th.
Who plays on which day that week will be known on May 12th, but for those fans who either love, or hate, their favorite team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, playing on a major holiday, it seems rather inevitable in 2022 with the holiday falling on a Sunday.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the rest of free agency and the 2022 NFL Draft.