Why some NFL teams have two 'Thursday Night Football' games in 2023
So nice, let’s do it twice. For some NFL teams in the 2023 season, they’ll get to listen to Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit on Thursday night more than the standard single time. That’s thanks to a new schedule change enacted by the league to take effect with this year’s schedule release. The league changed its rules in March, allowing teams to play multiple times on Amazon Thursday night games in a season. With a limited number of slots, that means that fans of some teams won't get to watch their squad in midweek games. The goal is to have more competitive matchups and guaranteeing every team a Thursday game wasn't a good recipe for that. MORE: Best games on 2023 NFL schedule by teamThe Sporting News examines why some teams are playing multiple times on Thursday night and others aren't at all. Why some NFL teams have two 'Thursday Night Football' games in 2023Amazon paid a lot of money to broadcast NFL games and the league would like to keep its newest partner happy with the future of cable as uncertain as ever. Play-by-play voice Al Michaels was often disgusted in the booth last season over the quality of play on the field, making him a social media trend all season long. It's unlikely the league was thrilled with that development. In addition to poor play, there were also poor matchups. MORE: Al Michaels reflects on calling Amazon's awful 2022 'TNF' gamesIn November, the World Series drew better ratings than an Eagles vs. Texans game on a Thursday night. For many, watching games on a streaming service is an extra step in the viewing experience, one that prevents them from watching everything else that's on. If the games are bad and the teams are worse, it's hard to convince fans to pay extra to watch. With the new rule, the NFL can get even more prime-time exposure for its marquee teams, ones that are worth paying to see. As a result, some of the teams expected to be bad, like the Cardinals or Buccaneers, can be locked away in the basement.While teams are limited to a maximum of two "Thursday Night Football" games on Amazon, that doesn't include other possible Thursday games like the season kickoff or Thanksgiving — making it possible that a team like the Cowboys or Lions could have three games on the penultimate day of the work week. MORE: Why NFL is adding an exceedingly rare Black Friday game to its 2023 scheduleHow much did Amazon pay for 'Thursday Night Football?'Amazon paid a pretty penny for the rights to "Thursday Night Football." In fact, they paid a lot of pennies. The official deal is for 11 years with the company paying around $1.3 billion per year for the length of the contract. The rights deal with Amazon and the NFL began during the 2022-23 season.