Cards (OK, everyone) headed to primetime

Posted by Darren Urban on February 3, 2012 – 2:38 pm

Part of the press conference from commissioner Roger Goodell at the Super Bowl today was the announcement (not unexpected) that the league would be extending the NFL Network’s Thursday night TV package to 13 games from the current seven (NBC will be taking the Thanksgiving night telecast). With the upgrade, in addition to all the Sunday night and Monday night games, every team in the league will get at least one primetime appearance in 2012.

The Cards, of course, didn’t have any primetime games in 2011, which wasn’t a shock given their struggles in 2010 (and no, I don’t know why Jacksonville got two Monday night games and a Thursday night game this past season.) The last time the Cards were on primetime was a Monday night home loss to the 49ers in 2010, a game in which I am sure Derek Anderson remembers well.

The Cards ended up with four primetime games in 2009 coming off their Super Bowl appearance — a Sunday night loss to the Colts, a Sunday night win in New York against the Giants, a Sunday night home win against the Vikings, and a Monday night road loss in San Francisco.

All primetime spots aren’t the same. These days, because of the network exposure, Sunday night has become the glamour slot, following by Monday night (although the league is still watching) and then Thursday. Thursday also isn’t exactly a player favorite because of the short week; what will be interesting to see is if the league makes sure Thursday teams are coming off a bye. That may be logisitically impossible, since the Thursday games will take place from Week 2 to Week 15.

The schedule, including primetime decisions, are announced in April. By then, free agency is finished and the league has a better idea of how teams will have changed. The first week of the season will have a Thursday night game, but it will be hosted by either the Giants or Patriots (whichever team wins) on on NBC.

Given the three Thanksgiving games on the non-NFL Network networks and the opening game, it is possible for every NFL team to have a Thursday game this season. We’ll see how that plays out.

Posted in Blog | 17 Comments »

17 Responses to “Cards (OK, everyone) headed to primetime”

  1. By Chris on Feb 3, 2012 | Reply

    So if you don’t have cable (I know. Whatever.), you get to miss watching at least one cardinals game next season?

  2. By Darren Urban on Feb 3, 2012 | Reply

    Chris —

    RE: Primetime

    Not necessarily. The one primetime game could be on NBC. But yes, odds are you will probably need NFL Network for at least one game.

  3. By SteveG on Feb 3, 2012 | Reply

    Don’t worry there are plenty of hacks around game night…….


  4. By Loser on Feb 3, 2012 | Reply

    What kind of loser doesn’t have NFL network which is on all cable and Sat networks? You gotta have it for pre-season already, too. I couldn’t imagine life without NFL Redzone channel every Sunday. If you live in AZ you are so damn lucky to be able to watch all the games already. Missing one won’t kill you. I live in Northern California and with the exception of the 2009 season after the Superbowl . I am only guaranteed to see 2 Cardinals games all season. The home and away against the 49ers, because I have the joy of living in the 49er/Raider markets.

  5. By Darren Urban on Feb 3, 2012 | Reply

    Loser —

    RE: NFL Network

    Actually, that’s not true — not all cable systems have NFL Network, which is probably one of the reasons the NFL ramped up its number of games, to increase the pressure to have these systems get NFL Network.

  6. By Bryth on Feb 3, 2012 | Reply


    Im putting myself through college so I only get the few local channels on my antenna. I dont have the money for cable or dish. Its good to know that Im a loser because I dont have one channel and instead opt to get a better education. Your name is fitting for yourself.

  7. By azfancolo on Feb 3, 2012 | Reply

    I dont know? I am not a big fan of thursday night games in general, maybe its the annoucers for the games then the fact that d. sanders and rich eisen have to talk also.

  8. By WildCard on Feb 3, 2012 | Reply

    screw nfl network

  9. By Skiptim on Feb 4, 2012 | Reply

    Darren –

    Don’t they locally broadcast NFL Network games? Wasn’t the Thanksgiving game in 2008 against the Eagles on NFL Network shown on a local station? I don’t want to have to get a computer virus trying to avoid missing a game…

  10. By Darren Urban on Feb 4, 2012 | Reply

    Skeptim –

    RE: local showing of NFLN

    I think that is technically determined on a case-by-case basis.

  11. By in fitz we trust on Feb 4, 2012 | Reply

    the sports package with cox cable is like 8 to 10$, should be able to swing that. considering 13games will air, hell of a deal.

  12. By Todd on Feb 4, 2012 | Reply

    When all else fails, call a cab (don’t drive), head down to the local tavern, throw back a few cold ones and enjoy the game!

  13. By John on Feb 4, 2012 | Reply

    If we get Manning,
    We assure oursleves of a sunday night game at the pats.

  14. By vsancards on Feb 4, 2012 | Reply

    @Darren, there hasn’t been a cable game yet the Cards have played (including ESPN Monday night games) that were not on a local channel…not to worry folks, if we sell out our games, you’ll see them all!

  15. By clssylssy on Feb 4, 2012 | Reply

    During the football season, which goes by so fast as it is, it is a constant frustration to me that ESPN elects to carry everything BUT football– pool, golf, poker, etc. Some Sundays only Fox carries football or Fox and one other channel. We’ve been lucky to be able to watch the Cardinals but can’t follow other teams unless you carry the NFL channel or sometimes on a dish. The NFL continues to rob the fans by denying them the ability to follow our sport unless we can afford the cost of the cover and pony up for the NFL channel. Roger Goodell talks a good act but once again his interests are not to benefit the fans. Football season should be devoted to football…sometimes you have to give a little to something to reap bigger rewards and by making the game available to more people, interest in the sport would eventually translate into dollars in the way of merchandise and ticket sales…geez, Marketing 101!

  16. By William Barry on Feb 6, 2012 | Reply

    Although I live on the East Coast, and usually can never see the Cards live on TV, I always go on line to NFL Field Pass and listen to all the games, and the pregame, and postgame, and can even get in some of the call in show later after the game. I think Dave Pasch and Ron Wolfley, are the best radio and play by play men, and they make Sunday afternoons enjoyable!!!!!GO Cards!!!!!

  17. By Kevin S on Feb 7, 2012 | Reply

    Clssylssy, ESPN “elects” to carry everything but football on Sunday? No, they don’t have the contract to carry it on Sunday — the networks (CBS and Fox, and NBC for the Sunday night game) do. ESPN can’t afford what it would cost to get the Sunday rights. (That’s why MNF moved to ESPN — ESPN originally had the Sunday night game, but when it became clear by the next TV negotiations that Sunday night was the premier game and Monday night was the also-ran, ESPN couldn’t bid enough to keep it.)

    The NFL now by far commands the biggest TV contracts of any sport, which is pretty amazing considering that the teams only play once a week (and only for 16 games). I’d say the NFL doesn’t need a lesson from you in how to market its product.

    I also find it interesting that you seem to imply the solution is more games on ESPN. How is that fair to the people who don’t have cable? Or is it just that you have ESPN, so it’s fair to you? Look, life is about choices. If you want to see every game, or to ensure you can watch your favorite team even if they aren’t local to you, there is an option for you — DirecTV and the NFL Sunday Ticket package. if you’re a more casual fan, being able to see your local team on the local network may be enough for you — then all you need is an antenna. If you don’t want/need access to every game but you at least want to see the “national” games, you need ESPN for MNF and NFL Network for TNF. If your cable provider doesn’t have NFL Network, both Dish and DirecTV do, and quite honestly, their packages are in the price range of a typical cable package. I think the NFL has done a pretty good job creating options for people who want to watch football.

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