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NFL will have two games on Christmas

Christmas is going to be a lot more rough and tumble this year.

The NFL has announced it plans to have two games take place on Christmas Day, twice the number it offered last year. It’s a big shift for the league, which for years avoided scheduling games on the holiday.

This year it’s even more unusual, though, since Christmas falls on a Wednesday.

The move is certain to frustrate some fans (and families) who will see it as a distraction from the holiday celebration. That’s unlikely to affect ratings, though, as Thanksgiving football has become a tradition for many people looking to avoid helping out in the kitchen.

Speaking of furors, the NFL also announced this week that it would once again exclusively offer two games this season only on streaming services. One of those will be the first game of the season, too, when the Philadelphia Eagles face an as-yet unnamed opponent in Brazil (the league’s first regular season game in South America). That game will stream only on Peacock.

Meanwhile, Amazon Prime Video nabbed the rights to an NFL Wild Card this season, meaning if you want to catch that game, you’ll need to add a different streaming service than you did for the 2023-2024 season to watch.

While fans protested loudly to the streaming exclusive playoff game last year, the NFL once again signaled this is the future of the league.

“As media consumption habits evolve, the NFL continues to work with our partners to put our games on digital platforms where our fans are increasingly spending their time,” Hans Schroeder, NFL executive vice president of media distribution, said in a statement. “The viewership success of both Thursday Night Football on Prime Video and the historic Wild Card game on Peacock last season are strong indicators our streaming distribution is resonating with our fans.”

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