NFL’s, NBC’s ploy to get viewers for Saturday’s game on Peacock


The NFL is laying off the commercials for a night . . . game on a holiday weekend that airs on Peacock. The Buffalo Bills-Los Angeles Chargers matchup on Saturday will feature a 40 percent reduction in ads, with zero commercials during the final 15 minutes. Ideally, that’ll be accompanied by a running clock because I can’t imagine audiences are too eager to watch Josh Allen versus Easton Stick or Will Grier.

Far be it for me to complain about the NFL’s backhanded attempt at fan service, but this is literally the least they could do. Sunday Night Football producer Rob Hyland, who’ll be directing the coverage, is amped to be able to “tell the story of the game and have the time to do it.”

Hate to burst your bubble, Rob, but you’re still not going to have enough time to turn this into an NFL Films production. NBC’s No. 1 booth — your favorite and mine — Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth and Mellissa Stark will be on the call, and none of them is exactly John Facenda.

For the ad-less fourth quarter, there will be a spot at the top for the advertisers, and regular-game stoppages. However, instead of commercials, NBC will throw it to the studio crew for live analysis, in addition to providing Tirico and Collinsworth an added opportunity to get off whatever nonsense they couldn’t explain during normal time constraints.

Who knows? Perhaps if Collinsworth has added opportunity to walk us through his fractured thought process, it’ll make sense. Or . . . we’ll just get a second serving of him telling us why Justin Herbert can learn a lot from Easton Stick.

To be honest, I might actually prefer the Burger King jingle to whatever Tony Dungy, Chris Simms, and Jason Garrett have to say. It boggles my mind that Garrett remains in our lives. He’s one of the few people fans of the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants can agree to hate. Simms has been propped up by nepotism his entire career, and Dungy still gets his political views from Twitter.

It’d be one thing if I thought the NFL was testing this format for future broadcasts, but it’s a ploy to get eyeballs on the first game streamed exclusively on Peacock. Spoiler: Until Peacock subscriptions become as commonplace as Amazon Prime memberships, it won’t matter if NBC sends personal undercarriage ticklers to get its viewers through game breaks.

Seriously, how pessimistic are the NFL and NBC about this broadcast’s ratings that they’d try to convince us fans are more valuable than business partners? Altruism and capitalism are not qualities that can overlap.



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