Too much football? Such a thing might not seem possible to diehard NFL fans. But watching pro football is no longer a diversion for an entire Sunday with Monday nights mixed in and following news through the rest of the week.

The NFL is on Thursdays. It’s on Saturdays (after college football season ends). And with games played in London, early Sunday mornings are also filled with NFL action. It’s become pervasive. And if the NFL is on all the time, does a game stand out as a special event?

Shari Redstone, controlling shareholder of CBS and Viacom, believes too much NFL is on TV right now. And that makes it easier to pass over unless your favorite team (Redstone is a New England Patriots fan) is playing. Appearing at Recode’s annual Code Conference earlier this week, Redstone said too much product on so many different channels confuses football fans.

Via Recode:

“It got very confusing for the consumer with the NFL last year,” Redstone said Wednesday at Recode’s annual Code Conference. “I think they were on too many networks, they started to commoditize the experience and not really keep it as something that was really special on Sundays, on Thursdays. You didn’t know what network it was found on.”

There is a fine line between giving the people what they want and oversaturating the market, a balance entertainment providers with which entertainment providers frequently struggle. A network show like American Idol or Who Wants to Be a Millionaire becomes a big hit and networks get greedy by putting it on multiple days per week, rather than once or twice. Movie studios crank out sequels quickly after initial hits. Arguably, that’s now happening with the NFL.

One key difference, however, is that networks are fiercely competing for rights to NFL game broadcasts. Streaming outlets like Twitter and Amazon have now joined the battle. Live games are content that won’t be left on DVRs to watch later. Very, very few are going to stream a NFL game days or weeks after it was played. The NFL is serving market demand, rather than overestimating its appeal.

So if all these companies and conglomerates want pro football, is the NFL supposed to say no and exercise some restraint? (Not to mention turning away the hundreds of millions of dollars that networks are putting on the table.)

Redstone’s stance doesn’t mean that CBS won’t dial back its interest in the NFL, of course. Pro football is big business and draws huge ratings for the network, which paid big money to add the Thursday Night Football package to its regular Sunday afternoon and evening coverage.

“People want exclusive content,” Redstone told Recode’s Peter Kafka. “I have full confidence in the NFL. They are a great organization and we love our football.”


About Ian Casselberry

Ian is an editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has covered baseball for Yahoo! Sports,, Bleacher Report and SB Nation, and provides analysis for several sports talk radio shows each week. He currently lives in Asheville, NC.

  • Hkkg Bgik

    The NFL is boring as shit. Give me College football all day

    • Shawn Diiorio

      Said No One, ever.

      • Hkkg Bgik

        Lol triggered NFL snowflake. College football actually has real fans and people that actual care.

        • Therealdan McKelvey

          Cut it out…Get you meds

    • Therealdan McKelvey

      Hope you get your meds in time….

  • Carter_Burger67

    NFL is killling the goose that lays the golden eggs. Boring, bland, politically correct product and on as many channels as possibles. I’d correct Shari on one point. It’s not confusing us, we just ain’t watching as much anymore.

  • Bud

    college football is for nfl wanna be’s .The big league is too tough for a lot of college boys .Back to Shari Redstone, maybe you need to give more credit to fans then you are,we like our games even when it is a team we don’t care for,we can route for them to get beat by the other team…

  • tmcb

    couldn’t agree more.
    If it wasn’t for Fantasy Football, i would watch a lot less. There is absolutely nothing special at all about playing on Thursday, Sunday or Monday night. Zero. I watch my team religously and it’s background video for all the rest. Why should i pay attention to any game other than my team? cause there will be another game on momentarily… You can thank Roger Goodell for this too. Cause EVERY single thing he does is to create more money for the owners. Teams, players, fans be damned.

    • Ms. Fit kitty

      A true football fan would wanna watch all games.. whats the point on just watching your team and not see how your next opponent does… idk maybe I’m just a big fan…

  • Shawn Diiorio

    If the NFL was on Network TV 7 days a week in Prime Time, It would win the ratings every single night. It would beat out any other show or event.. Period.

    I suggest if the executives want something else capable of drawing similar ratings, they come up with tv programming that is not hot garbage.

  • Ms. Fit kitty

    HOW IS THERE TO MUCH FOOTBALL ON TV? And how many other channels are there on tv? Lol if you don’t wanna watch football all day change the channel. Lmbo.Go on and tune in to “reality” tv if thats what you’re

    • Larry Leyba

      Excellent point

  • Joshua

    I must be in the minority. I like the NFL on as many days and channels as possible. Never a rerun. Fair weather fans stick to your red zone channel and your inability to sit through bad football. These are the same whiners who bore you with stories of what they binge watch. Keep me satiated with football please, especially in these times.

  • Larry Leyba

    The more football that is shown on tv the more chance they have of getting my eyes on their product and I will explain why. My team is outside of my market. Where I live I get three games during the morning and afternoon. It’s always the Cowboys, Broncos and one other game. Since my team is generally at the same time 2nd network the Broncos, I rarely get my team on TV unless they are playing Denver. Now if there is a chance Denver has a Sunday night, Monday night or Thursday night game, I have a better chance of catching my team. Also if there are games on Sunday, Monday and Thursday night, there is a better chance my am will be on on one of those nights. Over all I get a better chance my team will be on and that is only time I will watch. Oh and I am not going to be paying the NFL and direct tv hard arned money for the privilege of watching their product, I have other important things to spend my money on like feeding and carting for my children, wife and elderly mother. I not a football fan, I am a Raider fan and if they are not on tv than I have no interest. That’s why they have a better chance of catching my eyes if they have football every day of the week.

  • MrBull

    In theory she is right…it use to be just Sunday’s in the morning and afternoon along with Monday Night….
    Then came Sunday Night (which seems logical)…but, now Thursday’s….London and other foreign city games at real early hours…two games on Monday Night to open the season and the Season Opener on Thursday Night…just ridiculous….
    Much like college football is pushing over saturation on days beyond Saturday, the NFL is doing the same…
    Cut it back to Sundays and Monday night…

  • Jim

    It’s not the number of quality games every week. I think most of the games are quality games. The real problem seems to be trying to find quality commentators and analysts. Collingsworth, Sims, Aikman, Buck and too many more to mention, they all stink. There are one or two really good ones, but the majority of them just plain SUCK. I have been watching the games on mute, so that I don’t have to listen to them ramble on about this or that. I’m not sure most of them are even aware there’s a game they’re supposed to be talking about.
    Get better announcers, you’ll get better results, but I think the problem with viewership lies with the lousy commentators.

  • Bo Lasquis

    She’s not speaking for this consumer. I love it!

  • Dale Moog

    She is right in theory but in practice she is wrong. The biggest problem is the Stupid Thursday night package. With half the games produced by NBC and half by CBS with ALL the games on NFL network but only some on NBC or CBS Then you had Twitter last year as the streaming site now this year it is Amazon. Last year you could stream for free and this year you have to pay for Amazon Prime to be able to stream. This is the Third different Thursday night rights package in three years not mention you add the London games that are on a different network each year and they added a 4th one this year. plus the fact that they keep one (Jacksonville) as a free streaming only game. This year it is on a site most people have never heard of Verzion go90 last year that game was on Yahoo. the days when you had Sunday on CBS NBC and or FOX Sunday night on ESPN and Monday night on ABC are long gone get used to the crap that now is Thursday night football

  • Chris Macy

    Of course CBS thinks the games are on too many networks; they’d like CBS to be the only network broadcasting NFL games! Although I agree that the American public is stupid (look who they elected in 2016), I’m pretty sure they know how to find out which channel is broadcasting games!

  • sportsfan365

    The NFL needs to fix the Thursday night product by having those teams on a bye week before they play on Thursday, otherwise the only problem is with weak network announcing teams.

    • sarah413

      The league can fix the problem easily, but won’t. How about NO games on Thursday. Simple solution. Not going to happen, though.
      “We care about he overall health and safety of the players” the league says. Then, they show how much they “care” by having teams play 2 times in a 4 day span. If that’s “caring” then that’s just more nonsense coming from the owners. Maybe, when it comes time for the next CBA, the players simply refuse to sign any agreement unless the league drops the Thursday night game.

  • joejohnson291

    If Redstone holds a controlling interest,the best thing she could do is fire Les Moonves,and send his little wife Julie packing out the door with him.