Thoughts on Monday Night Football going back to selected free-to-air broadcasts on ABC next season as the scripted world returns to full activity following a strike stricken 2023

by Sports Benches

Last year, Monday Night Football was unexpectedly on free-to-air via ABC every week for the whole of last season in the NFL due to the Hollywood strikes that halted daily activity amongst all networks in the scripted world. This dispute went on for a couple of months until the agreement was finally reached to turn the switch back on around October-November last year where most shows including existing ones were able to get back to work right away on what has been an unusual and shortened prime-time TV season, which has been currently running from February-early March to until at least the end of this month. Now MNF will be back to its part-time slate next season as it originally was with 5-6 simulcast games with ESPN and three exclusive ABC games. They will also continue to air two post-season Playoff games together with the Wild Card that has been going on for nearly a decade while having the Divisional game once again following their first time out back in January.

When they will air a Super Bowl game again? It will be the 61st edition in February 2027 at Sofi Stadium in California for the first time over 20 years that goes back to 2006 when ABC Sports was around for one last ride before it became ESPN on ABC.

I guess they won’t be paying a bit more extra money to make the weekly free-to-air simulcasts happen at least until at least the next NFL TV contact comes in from 2034 while they can air a bit more Super Bowls when the scripted world is back in full activity as expect to see reality TV content again in its place like Dancing With the Stars or 1-2 from the Bachelor franchise.

I think it will be the latter with the Bachelor in Paradise like it was back in late 2022 followed by an hour of the older-skewing show like The Golden Bachelorette or Golden Bachelor since DWTS wouldn’t wanna leave free-to-air again anytime soon on Tuesdays, which could see for a full season of Will Trent in place of the soon-to-be-outgoing The Good Doctor at 10pm.

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