A report in today's Wall Street Journal claims that the NFL is exploring the idea of selling a new slate of Thursday games, possibly creating a Thursday night doubleheader every week. For fans of sloppy, forgettable football, a golden age could be dawning.
The details for now are imprecise; the league has reportedly only floated the concept to television executives, and no formal offers have been made. But whatever happens, it wouldn't be on the NFL Network, likely because current ratings aren't close to those of the other national games. (This is either a function of many homes not receiving the NFL Network, or Thursday just not being a hot night for football viewing. The league obviously thinks it's the former.)
An alternate option would be just selling some of the Thursday games from NFL Network to a different channel. An NFL spokesperson denied the doubleheader idea, but pointedly not this less drastic step.
If a second Thursday game does happen, they would be moved from the Sunday afternoon slate, a right the league specifically put into its latest television contracts. With the networks already set for Thursday primetime programming, it'd likely be a cable outlet—ESPN, NBC Sports, Fox Sports 1.
More football is always a good thing. But Thursday night games, on short rest, have a reputation for being poorly played, and a study of Thursday games since 2000 appears to bear that out. Still, have you seen the Pro Bowl ratings? It's a miracle we don't yet have football seven days a week.