For years, the NFL had Thanksgiving and the NBA had Christmas. Now the NFL is coming down the chimney and stealing the NBA’s milk and cookies.
what’s happening: The NFL has played on Christmas Day for the third straight season, and with the first Christmas tripleheader in league history, it’s bigger than ever this year.
- dolphins packers (1:00 PM ET, Fox)
- rams broncos (4:30 p.m. CBS/Nickelodeon)
- cardinals buccaneers (8pm, NBC)
Important reasons: America has long been obsessed with watching football, but it’s not usually December 25th. But with the NFL looking to expand its footprint and Christmas falling on a Sunday this year, Christmas is becoming a football holiday.
State of play: The NFL will have 41 of the 50 most-watched TV broadcasts in 2021 and 75 of the top 100. So today’s triple his header could lap his NBA in ratings for just one of the teams playing (the Dolphins). Winning record.
- nba christmas day games Last year it averaged 4.1 million viewers, the lowest number since the schedule was expanded to five games in 2008.
- it was partly due to In the NFL’s Christmas doubleheader, the Packers and Browns drew 28.6 million viewers, while the Colts and Cardinals drew 12.6 million viewers.
- Third NFL game Things can only get worse for ABC/ESPN, which airs all five NBA games today. NFL media his partner Disney isn’t thrilled.
Big picture: The NFL isn’t just invading Christmas. It also added a Black Friday game in 2023, increasing the influence of Thanksgiving weekend at the expense of college football, which has hosted Black Friday games since the 1970s.
- The league also We’ve turned mundane offseason events like schedule announcements and the first day of training camp into big events.
- it’s all part of the strategy “Grow the pie,” as Cowboys owner Jerry Jones likes to say. If a strong NFL wants to own a piece of the calendar, so be it.
By numbers: Including today’s slate, there were 27 Christmas Day NFL games. Twenty of them were done in this century, and 15 since 2006, when Roger Goodell became Commissioner.