The NFL is putting the ad breaks on pause for one night…for a game on a holiday weekend, streamed exclusively on Peacock. The spotlight on Saturday will be the Buffalo Bills vs. Los Angeles Chargers game, with a 40% reduction in ads, and no ads in the final 15 minutes. Ideally, there will be a running clock as well, because let’s face it, the audience probably isn’t too excited about watching Josh Allen against Easton Stick or Will Grier.
I hate to rain on the NFL’s attempt to serve the fans, but that’s literally the least they can do. Rob Hyland, producer of Sunday Night Football overseeing the coverage, firmly believes it will be possible, saying „Tell the story of the game, and take the time to do it.“
Hate to burst your bubble, Rob, but you still won’t have enough time to turn it into an NFL Films production. NBC’s No. 1 booth—yours and my favorite booth—Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth, and Mellissa Stark will be on the call, and none of them are exactly John Facenda.
For the ad-free fourth quarter, there will be a prime spot for sponsors and regular game interruptions. Instead of commercial breaks, NBC will present it to the studio team for live analysis and give Tirico and Collinsworth an additional opportunity to spread the nonsense that they couldn’t explain under normal time constraints.
Who knows? Maybe it’ll make sense for Collinsworth to get another chance to guide us through his fragmented thought process. Or…we just get a second helping of him telling us why Justin Herbert can learn a lot from Easton Stick.
Honestly, I might even prefer the Burger King jingle over what Tony Dungy, Chris Simms, and Jason Garrett have to say. It’s baffling that Garrett remains in our lives. He’s one of the few people who can be hated by fans of the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. Simms has been supported by nepotism throughout his entire career, and Dungy still gets his political views from Twitter.
It would be one thing if I thought the NFL was testing this format for future broadcasts, but it’s a ploy to draw attention to the first game exclusively streamed on Peacock. Spoiler: As long as Peacock subscriptions don’t become as commonplace as Amazon Prime memberships, it won’t matter if NBC sends personal back massages to get its viewers through the game pauses.
Seriously, how pessimistic are the NFL and NBC about the ratings for this broadcast that they would try to convince us fans that they are more valuable than business partners? Altruism and capitalism do not overlap.