NFL to schedule Christmas Day doubleheader despite holiday falling on Wednesday: report


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Around four months ago, an NFL executive overseeing the league’s broadcasting planning reportedly indicated that it was “unlikely” that NFL games would be scheduled on Christmas Day in 2024. 

The NFL official cited the fact that the holiday falls on a Wednesday this year, which is outside the league’s normal schedule.

However, the NFL enjoyed strong viewership during last year’s Christmas Day triple-header. The league traditionally dominates on Thanksgiving Day, as well, and it has now expanded its dominance to another part of the holiday calendar.

“When the holidays fall on traditional NFL game days, maybe even sometimes non-traditional NFL game days, if the fans are interested, if the broadcast partners are interested, if it fits in our overall strategy… our fans have shown us that they will find us,” NFL VP Mike North told Front Office Sports last December.

On Tuesday, the NFL appeared to reverse course and is now set to schedule games for this Christmas, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. 

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Wilson brand footballs are pictured with the NFL logo before the game between the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars at Ford Field in Detroit on Dec. 4, 2022. (Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

The teams that will play on Christmas Day have yet to be determined, but NFL EVP for Media Distribution Hans Schroeder said the league will schedule two games as part of a doubleheader.

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Last Christmas fell on a Monday and featured three games: Baltimore Ravens-San Francisco 49ers; New York Giants-Philadelphia Eagles; and Las Vegas Raiders-Kansas City Chiefs.

A total of 30 NFL games have been played on Christmas Day to date. 

NFL logo on field

The NFL logo is seen on the field before the game between the Tennessee Titans and the Indianapolis Colts at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, on Dec. 3, 2023. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell downplayed the notion that the league would consider playing Wednesday games on a regular basis.

“It won’t be a regular thing. It will when Christmas falls on a Wednesday,” Goodell told NFL Network.

The upcoming Dec. 25 game would mark just the third time in the last 75 years that an NFL game was played on a Wednesday. 

The league has only scheduled a Wednesday game one time prior to the Christmas game. The Wednesday matchup between the Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers was a result of unexpected COVID-19 issues, which forced the game to be moved to Wednesday.

Roger Goodell speaks to the media

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks to the media during a press conference ahead of Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Feb. 5.  (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Whichever teams are selected for the non-traditional Wednesday game will play their Week 16 game on Saturday, Dec. 21, per the Journal.

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Christmas 2025 will fall on a Thursday. The holiday is not scheduled to take place on a Tuesday or Wednesday again until 2029.

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