The NFL announced on Tuesday, that it is going to be cancelling it’s final Sunday Night Football game of the year this year according to CNN.
The game had not been set yet, and this week the available teams wouldn’t be in playoff contention and the game wouldn’t have any meaning regarding the standings, so the NFL has decided not to schedule the game.
They also faced the issue of having to air the game on New Years Eve, which would naturally bring down the ratings. Instead of having a prime time game, the NFL has settled for nine 1:00 PM games, and seven 4:30 games, eastern standard time.
“We felt that both from a competitive standpoint and from a fan perspective, the most fair thing to do is to schedule all Week 17 games in either the 1 p.m. or 4:25 p.m. windows,” NFL broadcast chief Howard Katz said in a statement.
The last time Sunday Night Football was held on New Years Eve, it had an abysmal rating of 13.1, which is around one quarter of a normal game. It was between the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings in 2006, two good teams, with star players, and it didn’t reach required viewership levels.
This season has been plagued with low ratings and anthem protests which have divided the NFL fan base. A lot of fans have decided to protest this NFL season all together when it became clear that so many players would be protesting all year.
The NFL limped to the finish line of this season, I’m sure they are happy it’s over, but this offseason they have a lot to address to make sure this season is repeated. The NFL needs to start mandating that players stand for the anthem, they had their year of protest, give us NFL football back.