MNF to ESPN, NFL back on NBC

This is surprising. Monday Night Football on ABC is one of those things I thought would never change. Sure, personalities might come and go, but, hey, if it’s fall, Monday Night means prime time football. Well, I guess it still will, just on cable. This won’t happen until 2006, so we can give MNF a few moving parties this coming season.

The move of Sunday Night Football to NBC will be very interesting. With some slick marketing and flexible matchups, it’s sure to draw decent ratings. However, the one thing that made me think that having MNF as the league’s marquee game (let’s face it, MNF on cable network, even ESPN, downplays its significance) was that it was (usually) the only game played that day.

The linked article has a lot of info in it that I’ll be digesting later. Had to get my initial thoughts typed down.

Update (4/19): After reading the article again, it’s apparent that this was the league’s only way of achieving a flexibly-scheduled prime-time “game of the week” that guaranteed good matchups with minimal fuss. I think ratings will be quite high for Sunday Night Football. However, it doesn’t sound as if the Monday night game on ESPN will be flexibly scheduled.

This decision is a direct result of the parity the league has enjoyed (for the most part) for a while now due to free agency. The scheduling gods can no longer pick guaranteed marquee matchups in advance of the season.