There was a time when Thursday Night Football games on the NFL Network were among the lowest-rated nationally televised National Football League broadcasts.
In fact, things hit rock bottom early on, with Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman famously calling Thursday Night Football a "poopfest."
Things are looking up, however, making this event an investment opportunity. The entry of Comcast-owned NBC, along with CBS Sports and Twitter to simulcast the games is a smart strategic move for the networks, and ratings are finally beginning to improve.
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For the past decade, the all-powerful NFL purportedly decided to position Thursday Night Football as a veritable power play, making it a battleground that pits networks against one another.
Last year, Thursday Night Football brought in steady consumer traction for NBC with an average 17 million viewers.
CBS, which aired five games earlier in the season, reported an average 14.7 million viewers, a strong showing, considering that the heated presidential election reality-fest was playing out simultaneously.
The splitting of a season of broadcasts should work well next year, with minimal distractions.
Twitter, which has struggled this year, averaged just 220,000 viewers, but it should deliver better numbers, given that season one had its share of issues, including glitches and slow buffering for some users. Season two should be fundamentally better, and Twitter could see numbers in line with those of general broadcast figures.
Regardless, the NFL is fully committed to Thursday Night Football and will pull all out all the stops on its behalf.
A recent report suggests how advertiser demand has remained high for the Thursday Night Football franchise.
Advertising represents solid cash for the networks, and spot rates look like they will only get better next year.
A great start next year could skyrocket Thursday Night Football's possibilities as a contributor of wealth to investor portfolios.
A couple of games like this one with a set of sizzling on-field performances could send ad rates through the roof next year.
Meanwhile, Walt Disney's ESPN continues to struggle.
It is unfortunate that 11 of 16 NFL telecasts brought in less than 12 million viewers, as per a report according toBarron's.
Thursday Night Football could actually prove be a consistent money-maker for the networks and, by extension, for stocks and investors.
Twitter, often looked at as a weak link, also stands to benefit, if it can learn its lessons from the 2016 season.
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The author is an independent contributor who at the time of publication owned none of the stocks mentioned.