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Report: If College Football Cancels Altogether, the NFL Will Move Some Games to Saturdays

Now that it's expected the Big 10 and the Pac-12 will announce they're hanging the CLOSED sign in the window for the fall, the ACC and Big-12 are considering pulling the grate and the SEC might be the only thing left standing between civilized society and the anarchy of football-less Saturdays:

... it's looking like the NFL is preparing to fill the void:

Source - Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL likely will move games from Sundays to Saturday, if college football doesn’t proceed this season. It’s unclear whether the games would be broadcast, streamed, or distributed on a pay-per-view basis, but the league likely would backfill the vacant Saturday windows with NFL content.

The easiest approach would be to treat each Saturday like the late-season tripleheader the league staged in 2019, with a game at 1:00 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 8:15 p.m. ET. That would trim the Sunday slate by three games each week.

There’s another wrinkle that would have to be addressed, quickly. The league would need a one-year dispensation from the broadcast antitrust exemption, which allows the NFL to sell TV rights in a league-wide bundle but prevents the NFL from televising games on Friday or Saturday from Labor Day through early December.

You certainly can't argue with the logic of it. The NFL might willfully not understand how air pressure declines in cold temperatures, but it does grasp that law of physics that says nature abhors a vacuum. Like dogs. And, judging by the condition of his bedroom, my 19-year-old.

They can't simple stand by and watch half of every weekend go from a million games to zero games. It's practically their civic duty. America will need something to entertain us, something to wager on, something to talk about besides what the plans are for work and schools and so on. More to the point, it's not just good business, it's great business. It's taking an enduring national crisis and figuring out a way to turn it into even bigger profits. To as Baron Rothschild famously put it, the time to buy property is when there is blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own.

Still, I hope it doesn't come to this. I hope the college football season survives, no matter in how limited a form. And I say this as a guy who follows the pro game more than CFB by an order of magnitude. Even if it's just the SEC, joined by a few other programs and independents like Notre Dame, we're all better off if we have the contrast from Saturday's brand of tackle football to Sunday's that has been a deeply ingrained part of our national identity for 100 years and counting. 

And speaking strictly as an NFL Guy, they run the risk of overexposure if they're the only game on TV from Thursday through Monday. One of the great appeals of any product, including football, is scarcity. If the league starts having games on Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, it runs the risk of becoming that thing you half-watch. It's in danger of being the fishtank in the background. That second screen you're not paying attention to while you're on your phone, the way MLB gets in the middle of summer. I'm not saying that will definitely happen and we'll all start tuning it out like it's "American Ninja Warriors" or that show JJ Watt hosts where they play Tag. But without a doubt it will lose some percentage of its specialness. 

I won't lie to you, I'll be watching Saturday pro football just like everyone else I know. I just prefer my NFL to own one day. "They own two of the seven days of the week and two other nights" just doesn't have the same appeal somehow.