This post contains affiliate links. “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”
The NFL will take advantage of Christmas Day, which falls on a Sunday.
The league will have three games on December 25 for the first time: two in the afternoon on CBS and Fox, followed by a prime-time competition on NBC. NFL Vice President Mike North revealed the triple header on a podcast hosted by WGR radio host and Buffalo Bill’s sideline reporter Sal Capaccio.
“Christmas, when it falls on an NFL game day, we’ve had great success there, all due respect to our friends in the NBA. It’s something our friends are interested in,” North said. “If Christmas falls on a Sunday, it makes perfect sense.”
It will be the third year in a row the league has played Christmas. Last year, Green Bay’s 24-22 victory over Cleveland averaged 28.6 million viewers on Fox, making it the third most watched game of the regular season 2021. Indianapolis’ 22-16 victory over Arizona averaged 12, 6 million on the NFL Network, the second most watched game in the network’s history.
For week 16, the league will have its regular Thursday night game on December 22nd. Eleven games will be on Dec. 24, including a night game on the NFL Network. After the Christmas triple header, the week ends with a Monday night contest on December 26th.
There have been 24 NFL games played on Christmas Day, including two post-season games in 1971. The most famous game on December 25 is Miami’s 27-24 victory over Kansas City in double overtime in the AFC Division Round.
The NFL’s trio of games will put it in direct competition with the NBA, which has long had the day to itself. The NBA has played five games every December 25 for the past 14 seasons.
North added that the NFL will play at least two Christmas games on Dec. 25 when the holidays fall on a Monday.
This year’s Christmas matches will be unveiled in the week of May 9th. The league announced Thursday that the full program will be released on May 12th. However, the first “Thursday Night Football” game on Prime Video will be revealed during the first round of the NFL Draft on April 28 and the International Games on May 4.