The NFL is set to begin experimenting with scheduling tweaks for Monday Night Football during the 2023 season.
ESPN's Adam Schefter recently spoke with the league's vice president of broadcast scheduling Mike North, and he revealed a feature for some of next year's slate of prime-time matchups.
"And then the real interesting thing about Monday Night Football next year, is that as part of the new deals, the Monday Night Football games in December are subject to flexible scheduling," North said.
Prime-time games are intended to be the most intriguing matchups of each week. But if a team stumbles throughout the year, it can create some lackluster pairings late in the season. In recent years, the NFL has shown a willingness to implement flexible scheduling for Sunday Night Football, and North said the league is hoping to follow that same formula.
"We'll treat it just like we treat Sunday night. We're gonna put a game on the schedule, and it's gonna be a game that we're counting on, and planning on and expecting to play. We wouldn't have put it there otherwise," North said. "Everybody's got this notion of all the uncertainty about Sunday-night flex. We flex, maybe, once a year. We didn't flex at all last year, certainly not in December."
North added that the hope is to avoid having to flex games late in the year, but the league is willing to do what needs to be done to spotlight the best games of each week.
"Hopefully the crystal ball is clear and the games we pick for prime time late in the season hold up and are worthwhile and have playoff implications when we get there," North said. "But if they don't, we're not doing anybody any favors by leaving a game in prime time if it's not compelling."
North specified that nationally broadcast games in Weeks 14, 15, 16 and 17 will all be subject to flexible scheduling. Week 18 will remain the league's most flexible week, as broadcast times won't be determined until later in the year.