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According to Peter King's MMQB today, the new contract increases NBC's flex power:
NBC got the Thanksgiving night game, beginning in 2012, taking it from NFL Network. NBC got one of its Wild Card games changed to a divisional game, beginning in the 2014 postseason. NBC got the ability to add a two-hour pregame show on its new NBC Sports Network in 2014. And this under-the-radar add-on, which could come in handy. In the new contract, NBC will not only have the ability to flex-schedule games in Weeks 10 through 15. In Weeks 5 through 9, NBC will be able to flex out of a bad game;
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It can end up flexing Patriots primetime games out of primetime where those of us not local can miss, thats the only downside I see.
Otherwise, I think it is a good thing.
Note the part of the paragraph not quoted by the OP:
In Weeks 5 through 9, NBC will be able to flex out of a bad game; this won't be an unlimited opportunity, I'm told, and it won't be like the regular flex scheduling, when a good game can be flexed for a great one. Call this the Peyton Manning Injury Clause. In Week 7 this year, NBC was stuck with the Saints against the 0-6 Colts, and no one cared. In the future, the league will erase a game like that one and sub something more palatable.
It's designed to replace awful games, not "improve" games.
Amen. Football in New England is a 1pm Sunday thing. we get what? 2 or 3 1pm games a year now? Night games SUCK, afternoon games less so. Thursday or saturday games are worse.
Because they sucked and had little national appeal for most of their existance. I like 1pm games and would prefer that they play all 1pm games. But...having a team playing a lot of primetime games typically means they are good or atleast expected to be good.
As an NFL fan I would prefer to watch a competetive game on Sunday and Monday night as opposed to say a game that features Jacksonville vs Seattle.
I don't have a problem with this, look at some of the dogs ESPN ended up with this year. What looks to be competitive in the summer may be anything but by midway through the season. The decisions on which afternoon games will get national exposure is determined close to game time with CBS & Fox having the option to feature the more meaningful games on their schedule (within local viewing requirements).
Added to that, the NFL Network is still not seen in a lot of markets and until the NFL faces reality that won't change so the Thanksgiving night game is a big change for the better.