NFL planning to add a scheduling twist for the return of the Monday night doubleheader in 2022, per report

After a one-year hiatus, the NFL will be bringing back the Monday night doubleheader in 2022 and the league will be doing it with a twist. 

For the 2022 season, the Monday doubleheader will feature one game that will air on ESPN and one game that will air on ABC. According to the Sports Business Journal, the twist here is that a portion of both games will be airing at the same time. The tentative plan would be for one game to start at 7 p.m. ET and then for the other game to start at 8 p.m. ET, which means there would be a roughly two-hour window (8-10 p.m. ET) where the two games would be airing at the same time. Under the old doubleheader format, one game would start at 7 p.m. ET and the other one would start at 10:15 p.m. ET. 

The report also states that the doubleheader will likely take place at some point during the first four weeks of the season. ESPN had previously announced that there would be a Monday doubleheader in 2022, but the fact that the two games will be airing at the same time is new information. 

The Week 1 Monday doubleheader had been a regular part of ESPN’s schedule for more than a decade, but the NFL and the all-sports network decided to scrap the opening week doubleheader in 2021 with ESPN getting a Saturday doubleheader during the final week of the season instead. 

The two Saturday games were part of the new television contract, but that deal doesn’t start until 2023, so ESPN and the NFL made a few slight changes to their existing agreement that allowed ESPN to air the Saturday games this year. 

The upcoming season will be the final year of the old media deal and during that season, not only will ESPN be getting the simultaneous Monday doubleheader, plus the Saturday doubleheader, but one international game will also air on ESPN+. The NFL has five international games schedule for 2022 with three in London, one in Mexico City and one in Germany. 

When the new media kicks in starting with the 2023 season, Monday will be getting even crazier. Not only will there be THREE Monday doubleheaders per year, but the NFL will also have the power to FLEX Monday games starting in Week 12 of that season. 

In other scheduling news, Amazon is still hoping to make a Black Friday game happen. Patriots owner Robert Kraft had mentioned the possibility back in March, but right now, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen because the NFL has been “lukewarm” to the idea, according to SBJ. Amazon will be taking over Thursday night games in 2022 and likely wanted to add a Black Friday game since the company won’t get to air any Thursday games on Thanksgiving as those all go to the major broadcast networks (CBS, NBC and Fox). 

According to Sports Illustrated, an option for a Black Friday game is built into Amazon’s streaming contract, but that option can only be exercised by the NFL, so the internet giant is going to have to convince the league that a Black Friday game is something that fans want. 

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