New NFL schedule means Game A is finally coming to London


The New York City/New Jersey teams are combined 5-3 and appear to be heading in the right direction at MetLife Stadium. But the Yankees and Aaron Judge are taking all the oxygen out of the market right now.

Sunday’s match in London between the Giants and Packers is not just the first time Britons will see a clash between two NFL teams with winning records. This is also the first UK match between two of the top 10 social media teams, according to our SBJ Atlas team, who reviewed data across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Packers are No. 4 on those platforms with 10.03 million followers, while the Giants are No. 9 with 7.76 million.

It’s London’s first real A-List game, and that’s no coincidence. The Packers are playing overseas for the first time only due to the 2021 policy change requiring all teams to move a home date overseas at least once every eight years – abandoning the old system of populating the NFL International Series with Super Bowl volunteers and hosts, which tended to create matchups between comparatively less popular teams (and by extension, losing teams.)

Under the old system, the Packers never traveled overseas. They wouldn’t volunteer for their own home games because so many fans travel from outside the tiny Green Bay market for Packers games that the city sees a real economic impact on game day than most cities in the major leagues don’t see, said team spokesman Aaron Popkey. The Packers’ road games tend to be the most profitable matchups for their opponents, so their opponents wouldn’t volunteer for those games either.

But since the start of 2021, the Packers knew their time was drawing near — each NFC team will have to give up a home date in 2022, 2024, 2026, or 2028 (the years the NFC gets the ninth home game under the 17-schedule). matches). The Packers still haven’t volunteered, but the new system at least establishes fairness and pursues a league-wide goal of overseas growth.

The policy doesn’t always guarantee big matches overseas, but it does end the system that has offered 31 consecutive second-tier matches for fans in the UK.

The Giants have a themed setup at the Horse & Guardsman pub near Trafalgar Square

The London games have become a recurring festival for all NFL fans, no matter who they support. Attendees report seeing all 32 shirts at either Tottenham or Wembley for all clashes. It’s a natural opportunity for the six teams with year-round UK marketing rights under the NFL’s international program to get active whether they play or not – right? ?

Actually no. The four rights-holding British teams not taking part in London games this year – the Bears, Dolphins, Jets and 49ers – generally don’t see it that way. They’re busy trying to build lasting grassroots fan bases on a 365-day basis, executives say, and are less concerned with the event vibe around the games, especially as the footprint of the stadium itself is reserved for the league and the participants.

“When these London games are happening, I think of them as more of a tourist thing, and we’re really targeting the locals more,” said Fernando Arriola, the Bears’ vice president/fan and brand development. He noted that the NFL’s promotional footprint for London games tends to take precedence over traditional tourist sites – think Big Ben, the London Eye or Piccadilly Circus. By comparison, the Bears’ biggest win to date in the UK was a well-attended and well-publicized tour of youth football camps that visited cities in England, Scotland and Wales.

The 49ers are trying to take advantage of the extra attention, but not so much on the field with live, in-person events. CMO Alex Chang said the Niners are bolstering UK-focused team productions on team channels and with media partners Sky Sports, TalkSport and Gridiron. The Jets welcome B-to-B guests to the games, but also stick to media rather than fan events.

The Dolphins maintain the same approach all year round during these weeks (the Vikings and Jaguars both have rights in the UK and are also playing there this year, so that’s a different story).

We’re rolling out the 75 Best TV Shows of 2022 on Friday (and in Monday’s magazine), which were compiled by SBJ’s Austin Karp. Football is obviously a key driver in this list. Here is an overview:

  • The 2022 regular season NFL games are already among the most-watched programs of the year, with six games in the top 25 most-watched shows, 15 in the top 50 and 17 in the top 75. Only one NFL linear TV window is outside the top 75 so far: Titans-Bills in week 2 (7.92 million), which was on ESPN/ESPN2 but was part of a network overlap experiment, which saw direct competition with Vikings-Eagles on ABC (the list excludes streaming-based telecasts, such as Amazon’s Thursday Night Slate).
  • The onslaught of NFL games to come in the final three months of the year likely means a record number of Olympic telecasts will break into the top 100 in a year in which the Games summer or winter took place.

  • Omaha Productions, owned by Peyton Manning, has been ‘inundated with people from the entertainment industry’ wanting to work with Eli Manning after his fictional portrayal Chad Powers trying out for the Penn State football team, sources said. at TMZ Sports. One of the ideas included creating a show/character in the vein of “Ted Lasso”.
  • The power of football (NFL and college) was evident with the quick resolution of the dispute between Dish Network and Disney over the weekend, writes SBJ’s John Ourand.
  • Betting education platform Gaming Society has signed its first official sports betting partnership with FanDuel, and the bookmaker will sponsor the Gaming Society’s weekly NFL newsletter, which debuts today, reports my colleague Liz Mullen.
  • Some NFL Week 4 viewership highlights, according to SBJ’s Austin Karp: CBS had its best Week 4 viewership since returning as the NFL rights holder in 1998, and is on the point to have its best season since 2010. Plus, NFL Network easily had its most-watched London Sunday morning game on disc.

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