The NFL voted to add flex scheduling to Amazon’s Thursday Night Football this upcoming season. This is a new change to the NFL, as flex scheduling has been adopted for the entire league and all of their broadcast partners. They will allow flexing for Monday Night Football now and the usual Sunday Night Football flexing that’s existed since the move to NBC. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was among those who reacted to the huge deal made on Monday.
Jones attempted to put his foot down on both sides of the issue. NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero tweeted on Monday, “On the Thursday night flex issue, #Cowboys owner Jerry Jones agrees that fan impact is an important issue — but also points out only 7% of NFL fans have ever been in a stadium. Like Fox getting a TV package in the 90s, important to make Amazon deal work as best it can.”
On the Thursday night flex issue, #Cowboys owner Jerry Jones agrees that fan impact is an important issue — but also points out only 7% of NFL fans have ever been in a stadium. Like Fox getting a TV package in the 90s, important to make Amazon deal work as best it can.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 22, 2023
In general, opponents of Thursday Night Football loathe the idea of a short week for what usually winds up as unappetizing football. With the added addition of flexing, it creates a conflict for both the team and the fan. The team will have to switch mindsets and work for a short week. The fan might get screwed out of going to a game entirely. Thursdays are not Sundays or Mondays, and vice versa. Fans are in a considerable dilemma, even if the regulations now say a team must be notified 28 days before the flex.
There is also the factoid in the tweet: Seven percent of NFL fans have ever been to an NFL stadium. That means 93 percent of fans won’t ever be at one. So, who is the one that benefits here?
It’s not the fan that goes to the game; that seems clear. Not only are you part of a minuscule group, but you’re at risk of the game moving and being displaced. And even if the TV viewer is adhered to, streaming has proven to be a functionally complex process. So how much are they being catered to?
Jerry Jones isn’t necessarily wrong with what he said. He also is entitled to look out for his assets. As an NFL owner, he knows how big the slice of the pie he’ll get from the revenue stream. But that’s the difference between owner and fan. Although it might be the way of the future, the fan does lose out quite a bit with Thursday Night Football flex scheduling.