If college football season doesn’t happen, NFL likely will play on Saturdays

By Mike Florio

Bad news: There may be no college football on Saturdays this year.

Good news: There may be NFL football on Saturdays this year.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL likely will move games from Sundays to Saturday, if college football doesn’t proceed this season. It’s unclear whether the games would be broadcast, streamed, or distributed on a pay-per-view basis, but the league likely would backfill the vacant Saturday windows with NFL content.

The easiest approach would be to treat each Saturday like the late-season tripleheader the league staged in 2019, with a game at 1:00 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 8:15 p.m. ET. That would trim the Sunday slate by three games each week.

There’s another wrinkle that would have to be addressed, quickly. The league would need a one-year dispensation from the broadcast antitrust exemption, which allows the NFL to sell TV rights in a league-wide bundle but prevents the NFL from televising games on Friday or Saturday from Labor Day through early December.

Regardless, with college football teetering on the brink and the NFL confident that its games will be played, 2020 could result in four days of pro football every week: Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.