clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Could the NFL fill the Saturday gap if college football is postponed or canceled?

It certainly sounds that way

In this photo illustration the NFL (National Football League... Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

College football for 2020 is in limbo because of the COVID-19 pandemic. At least one conference, the Mountain West, has already announced that they will not play football this fall, while the Big Ten is reportedly contemplating a similar move, and the Pac 12 brass meets on Tuesday to decide the fate of fall football out west.

According to at least one story, if the college football season does not go off as expected this fall, the NFL is apparently contemplating taking advantage.

John Breech of CBS Sports (citing Pro Football Talk) is reporting that if the “Power Five” conferences (Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12, SEC, and ACC) decide that there will not be a college football season this fall, the NFL will likely shift some of their games that are scheduled for Sundays to Saturdays to fill the gap.

In his story, Breech cites the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961, which stipulates that the National Football League can’t schedule games on Friday nights during the high school football season or on Saturday nights during the college football season. That’s why the few Saturday games the NFL has each year always come in late December. If there isn’t going to be big-time college football on television, however, that would presumably open the door for the NFL to shift some of their games to Saturdays.

There isn’t any indication as to how the games that would get shifted to Saturdays would be determined or who would broadcast them. Perhaps we would get NFL triple-headers every Saturday with FOX, CBS, and ESPN or NBC each getting a game.

If this were to take place, there would be NFL football on our television sets four days a week (Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday). Since the Minnesota Vikings only have two games this season at this point that aren’t scheduled for Sunday (the game at Chicago in Week 10 and the game at New Orleans on Christmas Day), we could potentially see quite a bit of Saturday action for the purple if this were to take place.

Would you watch NFL football four days a week if the college football season was either cancelled or postponed until the spring?