The NFL is looking to take full advantage of the fact that this year's Christmas falls on a Sunday. With the regular season nearing the tail-end of its run by that period, some interesting matchups could take place on that day.
And that's exactly why the league is looking to cash-in on the opportunity. While appearing on a podcast hosted by Sal Capaccio, NFL broadcasting VP Mike North said that the league will play three games on Christmas for the first time in league history:
“We’ll play one game on CBS in the afternoon, one game on Fox in the afternoon, and our regular Sunday night game on NBC... Christmas, when it falls on an NFL game day, we’ve had a lot of success there, all due respect to our friends at the NBA. It is something that our friends are interested in. If Christmas falls on a Sunday, it makes perfect sense.”
According to reports, two games will be played in the afternoon and will be broadcast on CBS and Fox, while a prime-time game will be shown on NBC.
The league has played at least one game on Christmas over the past two seasons. It will be the third straight year that the league will see teams take to the field on Christmas. In fact, last season's showdown between the Green Bay Packers and the Cleveland Browns at the Dawg Pound averaged 28.6 million viewers on Fox.
This comfortably placed the game as the third-most-watched game of the 2021 regular season. Over the years, the NBA has earned itself a reputation for captivating fans with its games on Christmas day. But this new update could well shake up viewership this season.
North did go on to add that the league will push for at least two Christmas games going into the future even if the holiday falls on a Monday.
The greatest Christmas day NFL moment was a playoff game held over 50 years ago
While last season's Christmas game did prove to be a nail-bitter, it had nothing on the 1971 playoff thriller held between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs.
The Divisional Round matchup between the AFC rivals proved to be a clash for the ages as both teams went back and forth in overtime for 82 minutes and 40 seconds, the longest game in NFL history. Legendary Don Shula's Dolphins pulled through in the end with a 27-24 victory over the Chiefs.