The NFL opener will be played Wed., Sept. 5th instead of Thurs. to avoid conflict with President Obama's speech at DNC (via @NFLprguy).— NFL (@nfl) February 28, 2012
The ratings juggernaut that is the NFL usually doesn't bow down to anyone. However in a pretty historic shift, they've opted to move the opening game of the regular season from Thursday to Wednesday (September 5th for whomever actually owns a real calendar).
Opting to yield to Obama's speech at the DNC, the NFL probably made the wise move to not dilute their audience pool by having overlap with another pretty significant event. It's an election year in what could be a close election, and with the DNC signaling the sprint to the finish for the presidency, the NFL showed some foresight to avoid watered down ratings.
I'm sure some will come out screaming that this is favoritism to the Democrats, but it's pretty clear to me this was just a business decision. The vast majority of the NFL power structure is Republican. Obama's speech is going to draw tens of millions of viewers with or without an NFL game conflict. Many Americans regardless of party affiliation go out of their way to watch speeches from both presidential candidates.
Opening night for the NFL will do much better ratings wise on Wednesday night and frankly it makes us wait one less day for the return of the NFL.
At the end of the day, this is good for the NFL, fans, and those who like to stay engaged in politics so I'd be surprised if there is much backlash about this historic shift in scheduling.[follow]