The NFL has made an event out of almost every single thing related to their league. The NFL draft used to be done without any television coverage and very little fanfare. Now, it is a three-day event with two of the days taking up primetime real estate on multiple networks.
The next big “event” is the release of the NFL schedule. In this case, event had to be put in quotation marks because it was not an event until the NFL figured out how to make it one.
The 2023 schedule was expected to be released this Thursday but, according to Peter King, there could be a hangup:
The release of the schedule, which the NFL had hoped to have for a primetime show Thursday night, may be delayed. It’s still likely to be done in time for release Thursday at 8 p.m., but I was told over the weekend it may not be finished in time.
Update: It has now been announced that the show will go on Thursday night:
Now official: The 2023 NFL regular season schedule will be released Thursday, May 11th.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 8, 2023
King also noted that the, mostly disliked by everyone, Thursday Night Football schedule could see good teams playing multiple games in the middle of the week and bad teams not scheduled on TNF at all.
Finally, the new rule that eliminates the CBS/AFC and Fox/NFC late window exclusivity could also be causing chaos:
Now, every Sunday afternoon game is a free agent, which expands the possibilities for the schedule. You can be sure CBS will be fighting for as many Kansas City games in the late-afternoon doubleheader slot, and I won’t be surprised if CBS gets every Mahomes doubleheader game this year. With the AFC so much stronger (particularly in franchise quarterbacks), don’t be surprised to see FOX get a couple of roadies with Cincinnati or Buffalo or Baltimore or maybe even the Jets.
In the end, the schedule will be the schedule and we will break it down in a variety of ways but the NFL’s desire to monetize everything could create more and more frustration with fans and teams. Interestingly, that very desire could keep them from being able to pull off another primetime event this Thursday night.