2022 NFL schedule: Christmas Day tripleheader expected to happen for first time in league history

For the very first time in NFL history, it appears like the league is preparing to play a tripleheader on Christmas. The NFL currently holds one vacation tripleheader each year (Thanksgiving) and it appears that the league has actually chosen to include a 2nd one to the schedule for 2022. 

The NFL’s vice president of broadcasting, Mike North, exposed that details today throughout an interview on the “Sal Sports and Stuff” podcast. North belongs to a really little group of NFL staff members who supervise of putting the schedule together each year. During the interview, North was asked how the NFL would be setting up video games around Christmas this season with the vacation falling on a Sunday. 

Historically, when Christmas falls on a Sunday, the NFL has actually played the majority of its weekly slate of video games on Christmas Eve and after that pressed a couple of video games to Christmas Day (The league didn’t play its very first routine season video game on Christmas till 1989 and it didn’t play its very first Sunday Christmas video game till 1994). 

The NFL’s strategy this year is to play the majority of the Week 16 schedule on Saturday afternoon (Christmas Eve) and after that follow that up with a prime-time video game on Saturday night and 3 video games on Sunday. 

“We will play on Saturday night (Christmas Eve) on NFL Network and then when we get to Sunday, Christmas Day, we’ll have a tripleheader,” North stated. “We’ll play one game on CBS afternoon, one game on Fox afternoon and our regular Sunday night game on NBC.”

North likewise exposed that the video games will begin at 1 p.m. ET, 4 p.m. ET and 8:15 p.m. ET, which suggests the NFL will be now trying to take control of a sports day that has actually traditionally come from the NBA. North understands that, however the NFL’s television numbers on Christmas have actually been so monstrous recently, that the league chose it was time to put more video games on Dec. 25. 

“Christmas, when it falls on an NFL game day, we’ve had a lot of success there, with all due respect to our friends at the NBA,” North stated. “When we can play football on Christmas, it has proven to be something that our fans are interested in.”

The NFL has actually set up an overall of 3 Christmas video games over the previous 2 years — one in 2020 and 2 in 2021 — and they all scored huge in the scores. 

“We had Minnesota-New Orleans [in 2020], that game did 20 million viewers,” North stated. “We had Cleveland-Green Bay last year, that game did 30 million viewers. It was followed by Indy-Arizona on NFL Network and that one performed well.” 

The Packers 24-22 win over the Browns drew 28.6 million audiences, that made it the third-most enjoyed regular-season video game of 2021. As for the other Christmas video game last season, the Colts 22-16 win over the Cardinals was the second-most enjoyed video game ever in the history of the NFL Network, which has actually been airing video games because 2006. 

“Our fans are telling us — we know they watch on Thanksgiving — they’re happy to watch on Christmas,” North stated. “When we can, we’ll find games for windows on Christmas.”

Since that initially regular-season Christmas video game in 1989, the league has actually been aiming to use the vacation whenever possible. In 2004, the NFL played its very first Christmas doubleheader, and now, 18 years after that, we’re most likely going to be seeing our very first Christmas Day tripleheader. 

North likewise used a couple of other bits throughout his interview with Bills beat author Sal Capaccio. For one, you much better get utilized to the NFL schedule coming out in May, since it’s here to remain. 

“This is the new normal,” North stated. “April is really all about the draft. And then you get kind of a week after the draft to [breakdown winners and losers and breakdown draft grades] and then after about a week of that, everyone kind of turns their attention to ‘OK, we know who’s playing where, now let’s find out who’s playing when.’ And the schedule release now stands on its own as a little bit of a tent pole.”

Before the pandemic, the schedule was frequently launched in April. 

As for other scheduling bits, do not be shocked if the Bills wind up playing in the NFL opener or on Thanksgiving, however not both. The Bills play both the Rams and Lions on the roadway, which is why they might wind up playing in either area. 

“I don’t know if we’re going to find them in both of those windows,” North stated when asked if the Bills may wind up playing in either video game. However, he did keep in mind that the scheduling department is high up on the Bills this year, that makes it most likely that we’ll see them in a number of prominent areas. 

“I think if you talk about maximizing a team across national television, the Bills are in that conversation,” North stated. 

We’ll discover what every NFL group’s schedule appears like in less than 3 weeks. The 2022 schedule will be launched on May 12 and you can check out about all the information of the release by click on this link



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