NFL football kicks ass. We all agree, right? And while Sundays are wonderful, nothing beats prime-time NFL football. The games simply feel more special when they're isolated like that. In those situations, we all take to Twitter to share our amateur jokes at the expense of whichever team or player is struggling while making grand, exaggerated statements about those experiencing success.
And every year in Week 1, we get an extra serving of prime-time, nationally-televised football when ESPN turns Monday Night Football into a doubleheader. Football from 7 p.m. until 1 a.m. ET is just glorious, which has me wondering why that hasn't become a weekly staple yet.
It makes sense for everyone. You'd only be stealing a total of a handful of games away from CBS and FOX, but another permanent prime-time national spot would give teams and players more exposure while giving fans more football to watch and adding to the league's profit margin. Because I can guarantee ESPN (or anyone) would be willing to pay big bucks for the extra 15 games (they'd be much more valuable Monday night than Sunday afternoon).
For those who say it'll force the early game to start too early, consider that 7 p.m. ET is when the majority of NHL, NBA and MLB games begin. And consider, too, that Monday's Eagles-Redskins game dominated in the ratings despite the early kickoff. For those who say it'll force the late game to start too late, consider how well things have gone for the NBA on TNT on Thursday nights.
Here's the biggest issue with that late start: Only four NFL teams -- Seattle, Oakland, San Francisco and San Diego -- are located in the pacific time zone, and only two -- Arizona and Denver -- are based in the mountain time zone. So either you cycle six home teams three times each, which isn't very realistic, or you force teams based in the central time zone -- Minnesota, Kansas City, Dallas, Houston, Green Bay, Chicago, St. Louis, New Orleans, Indianapolis and Tennessee -- to kick off a home game after 9 p.m. ET.
That's not necessarily an issue when you consider that Monday Night Football used to kick off at 9 p.m. every week, but it makes things difficult on the schedule makers when only about half of the league's teams can host in that spot.
I think that's something the league can overcome, though, making Mondays extra special throughout the fall.
What do you guys think?
2. You are overestimating the value. The value of MNF is tied to it being NFL for ESPN (so they can demand high cable carriage fees) and also of course what it rates and recoups in ad money. This is why NBC pay 950 million dollars for their prime time game (they get ad money) and ESPN 1.9 million (ads+ fees). One game on ESPN is enough for them to collect their carraige fees. Monday Night Countdown and 11pm SC give them ratings as well at a far cheaper cost than what an additional game would cost. Is the marginal benefit there for ESPN every week?
3. It has to be a West Coast team at home. Taking another game from Fox/CBS reduces the value of their package. Turning to the NFL, Is the marginal benefit of having one more prime time game (which as I already said won't fetch what MNF does) where east coast viewers are switching off to go to bed by the second half really going to be worth the reduced value of the Fox/CBS packages?
4. If you were to move the Thursday game to avoid reducing the value of the Fox/CBS package, you would couldn't have ESPN broadcasting one MNF game and NFL Network the other for obvious reasons. So it would have to be both on ESPN which would destroy the NFL Network, which is only getting on its feet.
Just have eight MNF doubleheaders to start with (every two weeks) and have Thursday Night games on those weeks there are no doubleheaders on Monday. Problem solved.
The Chiefs hosted the second half of a Monday night doubleheader in 2010. Even though it kicked off at 9:15ct, it was still a big success for KC and got high ratings.
The validity of statements here are subject to a test of the time zone in Indianapolis, which until this evening was in the Eastern Time ZoneCurrent time in IndianapolisCurrent time20:29:24 Thursday 12, September 2013Time zone/OffsetTime zone identifier:America/New_YorkDaylight savings time:YesCurrent time zone offset:-04:00Time zone abbreviation:EDT
Actually Brad the Monday Night Football Doubleheader on ESPN usually lasts from 7:00 to 1:30 A.M. ET normally, because the 2nd game normally kicks off as eary as 10:20 ET and if ESPN needs to, they can move the Opening Kickoff 5 minutes later to 10:25 ET too!!!
Get 2 teams in LA, then we can start talking about Monday night doubleheaders - but limited. Say 4-6 weeks a year. A full season is over kill. And nobody wants to see a MNF with a bad west coast team, just to fill a spot.
Absolytely. I'd rather the double Monday Nighter than the terrible Thursday games we've had to endure.
ESPN should space out the two games a little more especially when a team like the Eagles is involved in the first game. CBS and FOX allow 3:25 for their doubleheader games.
no thanks, some of us have to work real jobs on tuesdays. i wish i could sit home and post recycled news stories on my computer all day
I think it's brilliant... I love the Chargers and for most of the last few years they have been the 10pm game... I make a little double-header party out of it... I take the night off work and everything... it's like a holiday to me I understand the issue many people (read: east coasters) have with the timing and how that timing might affect a team traveling west, but these same people give no consideration to a western team traveling east to start at 1pm (the stats are staggering)... nor do they give any consideration to the folks on the west coast who have to watch their game start at 10am! if you had a good Saturday night or if you go to church, pre-game shows be damned... I saw people tailgating with coffee when I visited Jack Murphy... so before you selfishly proclaim 1am "too inconvenient", consider what a blessing it would be for people on the west coast
If the Bears kicked off a Monday night game at 9:30 central it would be a drunk fest. I don't see that bring a viable option. Maybe there could just be 6 weeks where there is 2 Monday games, or some other compromise.
The extra game on Monday Night Week 1 is to make up for no Monday Night Game in Week 17. I'm fine with it the way it is.
Ideally they would add a second Monday Night game and get rid of the Thursday games. I don't like the awfully short weeks for teams that the Thursday games cause.
For a league that wants each game to be highlighted, it seems counter-intuitive for the NFL to believe that football fans would want to stay up until 1am for a Week 1 game between a west-coast team and another team that unfortunately has to play on the west coast on a Monday night.
For those living in the central (non-Texan fans) and eastern time zones, it had to be a struggle to stay up and watch. And plenty of people live in those time zones who don't care about the Texans, Chargers and Chris Berman in Week 1.
I love football, but I also love sleep and I love $$. If my team were playing, I'd watch, but since they weren't I turned it off so I could be productive at work the next day. I mean...it's week 1. I was able to watch 2 highlight shows to actually tell me who won.
I'm sure I wasn't the only one.
2 reasons on why not! One the fact that the second would have to start no later than 9 central. And two if ESPN is stuck broadcasting it we are then subjected to Chris Berman and his 80's schtick (and I love the 80's but Chris Berman hasn't moved past 1985 in some senses)
I think it's definitely better than having a game each week on Thursdays. Thursday games have so many things going against them; Everybody loves playing on Monday nights, why not have a second Monday night game rather than a Thursday game each week?
You hit the nail on the head when you said overkill. But thanks for the insight as to how they do business with the TV networks.
The problem with what you're saying is that the is no problem to be solved to begin with. So, if there's no problem to be solved then how are you solving a problem? MNF is perfect the way it is right now. And if it ain't broke don't fix it.
@JerseyStrong As a one-off deal, it works. But if you try to slot that game 16 weeks a year...the enthusiasm will taper off pretty quickly.
@BobRomond oh some of the state is in central but you're right, indianapolis is in eastern. either way this article is ridiculous to suggest having people stay up till 1:30 watching football every monday night of the season.
@BobRomond no they aren't they're in central.
@tonyc CBS and FOX don't "allow" anything of the sort. The NFL mandates that the games airing on the network airing the double header will start no earlier than 4:25 PM ET. They moved that time back 2 or 3 seasons ago from 4:15 PM ET. They are also the ones who decided to move the Thanksgiving early game and Playoff early games up to an earlier time slot. The networks have never had anything to do with the start times. They have always been programmed by the league.
@morganwick Truth be told, I'd prefer they go back to Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic. That, or bring back Brad Nessler. He did the game 2 years, and he has 15 NFL Network games a year. There's no reason they couldn't have Nessler do that Week 1 late game since he does have an ESPN contract in addition to his NFL Network contract.
@DanielOrmsby@DanielOrmsby i agree with you 100%. just the other day i was asking why is it a double header on the first MNF night of the season. nobody knew and i said it was kinda stupid. but now that you've explained it it makes sense. haveing a double header every MNF would be dumb and over doing it. even having it for 6 nights a season, as some have suggested, would be dumb as well. it's monday night football. there's no need to have 2 games on monday night football. we already have hard enough time dealing with sunday night football getting up for work, and now the writer wants us to have to sit through a double header on monday night all 17 weeks?! that's just plain ridiculous.
@tifosi73 if you have time read my comment above about why i think having a double header every monday is just plain dumb. we already have sunday night, then work on monday morning. now this writer thinks it's a good idea to have a MNF last till 1:00 every week of the season?! the writer of this article should be fired. i know it's his or her opinion (it sounds like a female's opinion if you ask me) but it's a ridiculous one that makes no sense. with NFL ticket and sports bars and fantasy football teams are getting plenty enough exposure to not need a second MNF game to rely on.
@AustinFoss i say ditch the thursday night game and leave MNF just as it is. there's no need for a thursday night game every week and there's no need for a MNF double header every week. this writer is retarded.
I already acknowledged that Indianapolis is in the eastern time zone. But part of Indiana is in the central time zone. So how am I an idiot?