This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

What a Season Full of NFL Saturdays Would Look Like

PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- The National Football League hasn't scheduled a regular-season game on a Saturday afternoon in eight years. The last time it played a regular season game on a Saturday, the NFC-leading Atlanta Falcons pounded the 4-10 Detroit Lions in a 2012 Week 16 matchup that was the lowest-rated NFL game of the year for ESPN.

This year, there are no Saturday games on the schedule at all -- and that's a shame for everyone involved.

The Sports Broadcast Act of 1961 gave the NFL its antitrust exemption and set the groundwork for its television blackout rule, but it also prevented the NFL from televising games on Saturdays during college football's regular season. When that season ended, the NFL used to make the most of it by broadcasting games on Saturday afternoons and evenings and taking advantage of the encroaching holiday season.

Since the inception of the NFL Network and the league's fascination with Thursday Night Football, the Saturday game has been relegated to the preseason and the playoffs. There were only eight Thursday night games per season from 2006 through 2011, but the league expanded Thursday Night Football to a 13-game slate in last year. That didn't count the three other games being played on Thanksgiving this year to give the NFL 16 Thursday games overall in 2013.

What Thursday Night Football offers the NFL that Saturday network broadcasts don't is a mainline of money it doesn't have to share with pesky partners. The NFL Network can't pull in the nearly $5.50 per month that research firm SNL Kagan says ESPN gets from satellite and cable customers. It can, however, fetch second-best $1.34 per month, up from less than $1 last year, after beefing up its slate of Thursday games. That alone should bring in more than $1.1 billion in revenue, or 56% more than the channel produced last year.

Meanwhile, the NFL has already seen enormous returns on NFL Network ad sales. In 2011, the last year of Thursday Night Football's eight-game slate, SNL Kagan says the network took in $99.6 million in ads. That jumped last year to nearly $201 million thanks to extra games. RBC Capital Markets analyst David Bank projected in AdWeek that NFL Net will book as much as $335 million in ad sales commitments this year, a 67% gain.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $124.75 0.00%
FB $80.78 0.00%
GOOG $524.05 0.00%
TSLA $206.79 0.00%
YHOO $44.45 0.00%

Markets

DOW 17,826.30 -279.47 -1.54%
S&P 500 2,081.18 -23.81 -1.13%
NASDAQ 4,931.8150 -75.9760 -1.52%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs