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Why are there Saturday NFL games in Week 15?

Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen (#17)
Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen (#17)
Suryaraj Jain
Modified 18 Dec 2020, 02:25 IST

Week 15 of the 2020 NFL season brings us a rather interesting change in the broadcast schedule.

Two games will occur on Saturday this week: The first being the 10-3 Buffalo Bills traveling to Colorado to take on the 5-8 Denver Broncos, while the Saturday night game will be a showdown between the 4-9 Carolina Panthers and the 10-3 Green Bay Packers.

But a question arises: Why are these games being played on Saturday?

The NFL typically avoids scheduling games on Saturday, which is traditionally college football's day to have the spotlight.

NFL expanding its broadcasting in 2020

During the planning phase of the 2020 NFL season, the league was considering to host games on Saturdays if college football was to not take place this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, several regulations would bar the league from broadcasting those games on Saturdays.

That regulation comes from the 1961 Sports Broadcasting Act, which does not allow the NFL to televise games on Friday and Saturday.

However, there is a limit in the act for the league. Up until the second Saturday of December (which was Dec. 12 this year), the league could not broadcast any games. Now that the league has passed that date, they are allowed to broadcast games on either day, and this will begin in Week 15.


This will not be the only week the NFL will broadcast games outside of Mondays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Week 16 will include a game held on Friday, as well as a triple-header on Saturday with some must-see games.

Nonetheless, the two games this week are certainly a must-watch, as the Bills fight for an AFC East division title and a higher seed in the AFC playoffs, while the Packers will hope to stay at the number one seed in the NFC playoffs after clinching an NFC North division title.

An important note: The showdown between the Bills and Broncos will only be televised on the NFL Network, while the Panthers and Packers will be televised nationally on FOX.

Published 18 Dec 2020, 02:25 IST
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