NFL explains why Detroit Lions are not participating in Monday Night Football


When a new NFL schedule is released, one of the first things fans look for is how many prime-time games their favorite teams appear on.

Detroit Lions fans were a little surprised that aside from the annual Thanksgiving Day Classic, the team didn’t appear in any national prime-time games.

More frustratingly, the team is the only team in the entire league to not have a single primetime game on its 2022 schedule.

Michael North, the NFL’s vice president of broadcast planning and programming, said on a conference call Friday that fans shouldn’t overlook the number of viewers who tune in to watch football on Thanksgiving.

“The real thing for us, again, is that we see them as national windows,” North said. “We can never lose sight of the fact that that Thanksgiving afternoon window, that 12:30 p.m. window in Detroit, most years, is the most-watched NFL game No. 2 or No. 3 every year. .

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North continued: “There’s no hesitation in putting the Lions in a domestic window like this. They were nothing if not dashing last year. They gave a lot of good teams a lot of good games. Having them on Thanksgiving, you can definitely make a pretty convincing argument, they’re going to have a lot more eyes on that one than they would if they had a Monday night standalone game or a Thursday night standalone game.”

Unfortunately, with nearly 30 million people watching, this year’s Lions lineup against the Buffalo Bills, a team in contention for the Lombardi Trophy, may not be viewed as favorably by fans who want the team to be fairly rated by a nationally televised audience. .

Onnie Bose, vice president of broadcast for the NFL, said: “How do we organize this schedule and make sure we balance all the needs of the teams and the competitive aspects, first of all the football, on the field?

“Then the considerations of media partners, new media partners, the reality of 272 games now and each of them being an asset, maximizing that and bringing our best games in the best windows to our fans. That’s the bottom line .”


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