Pro Football Talk — The 2020 season included a historic Christmas Day game for Saints running back Alvin Kamara, who scored six touchdowns. The game was a ratings bonanza.
So with Christmas 2021 landing on a Saturday, the NFL is thinking about jamming another gift into our collective stocking.
Peter King of Football Morning in America reports that the league is considering playing two games that day.
The Vikings-Saints game, which started in the late afternoon, drew an average of 20.1 million viewers. Our guess is that, if the NFL indeed stages two games, it will be one in the late afternoon and one at night.
If you're one of the people who enjoys meaningless NBA games on Christmas Day, I have some incredibly bad news for you, because the NFL is about to completely take over that holiday, as well. Thanksgiving simply wasn't enough for them and now they're coming for Christmas.
And why shouldn't they? Saints-Vikings averaged 20 million viewers on Christmas this past year. You know what the NBA games averaged throughout the day? Just over 4 million.
Sportico — According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, Friday’s holiday quintet averaged 4.32 million viewers and a 2.0 household rating, down 16% and 26%, respectively, compared to the year-ago 5.16 million/2.7. The third game posted the worst retention rate of the bunch, as the Nets’ 28-point laugher against the Celtics on ABC was down 35% compared to the 5 p.m. ET Rockets-Warriors showdown in 2019.
Let the people decide! I have long been an advocate for bowl games on Christmas, but if we have to settle for NFL football, that will be just fine with me. And if the League is looking at adding one more game, why stop there? Make all of Week 16 on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day when those days are between Friday and Monday and just punk the NBA out of its (supposedly) biggest draw.
Remember how fun it was watching Alvin Kamara score six touchdowns while sipping hot chocolate in a living room full of wrapping paper? We can either have more of that and meaningful games leading into the playoffs or more 127-94 NBA games with no postseason implications whatsoever. The choice seems quite clear to me.
NBA ratings are in the tank and Christmas is still football season. Give the people what they want.