Networks Considering Targeting Popular Players and Teams for Best Time Slots

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A long national nightmare was ended yesterday when the Green Bay Packers and New York Jets agreed to a trade that will lead Aaron Rodgers to familiarize himself with the best places to purchase raw water in Bergen County. Over at Front Office Sports, Michael McCarthy is reporting that the addition of a shiny new quarterback will transform the Jets into national television darlings.

With the four-time NFL MVP making the Jets instant Super Bowl contenders, the league’s TV partners are scrambling to add Gang Green to their TV schedules this fall.  

The Jets could be featured in six prime-time games, according to ESPN’s NFL Insider Adam Schefter. 

“The conversations are ongoing,” said one source. 

But that's only a small part of the story here. Multiple sources confirmed to The Big Lead that every television network has a vested interest in airing the most attractive games, whether that be in primetime or during afternoon Sunday hours, as part of their business model.

Experts explained that this comes down to ratings, which is a metric measuring how many people watch the games. Without getting too into the weeds, the more people who watch, the better. Companies who purchase advertising time on NFL games want to ensure that their product gets in front of as many eyeballs as possible. If a network can show empirical evidence that more people are watching, they can oftentimes charge a higher premium.

And that leads to more revenue, which is how much money a company makes. Which must be balanced against expenditures. Work those two together and you arrive at a fuzzy bottom line. Again, this is complicated but a higher profit margin is a near-universal goal.

The Rodgers piece of this comes into play because he's a future first-ballot Hall of Famer and has made himself one of the most polarizing and interesting athletes in all of sports. Neutral observers will be more likely to watch with him under center than say, Zach Wilson or Mike White, which explains why the Jets were only featured on primetime once last season. Throw in the fact that they play in the No. 1 media market (also important!) and they have quite a stew of intrigue bubbling up.

More on this as it develops.