For the last couple of hours, National Football League teams and networks have been hyping up the release of the 2017-18 schedule and on the surface it looks like the NFL wanted to get fans excited about who their favorite team would be playing come this fall, but really the hype and televising of the schedule is more for the networks than the fans.
I know that seems like a major Captain Obvious statement, but hear me out.
On one hand, hyping up the release of the regular season schedule is for the fans because it singles the beginning of the football calendar year. And by calendar year I do not mean when free agency starts, I mean that time of the year where players are turning up for mini camps and the NFL Draft is taking center stage. So by releasing the schedule now, the NFL can help fans not only decide what games they will would like to attend, but it helps signal the beginning of football.
But on the other hand, the televising of the schedule release is purely for the television networks. TV networks pay the NFL a lot of money to air the games, so they want to make sure that not only are they getting a quality match-up, especially for the prime time coverage like NBC’s Sunday Night Football and ESPN’s Monday Night Football. They also want to be able to start hyping up the coverage of the games.
While the NFL and it’s teams are on social media hyping up their big games of the season, the TV networks are doing the same thing because high ratings will pay the networks back some of the money they spent to initially air the game.
So as you are pouring over your football team’s schedule and marking key games you may want to attend, just remember that you as a fan were the secondary target market in today’s hype up of the NFL 2017 schedule.