The NFL canceled the final “Sunday Night Football” of the season this week because it falls on New Year’s Eve.
The last time the NFL held a Sunday night football game on New Year’s Eve was in 2006 when the Green Bay Packers played the Chicago Bears. It was Brett Favre’s last game with the Packers. According to CNN, that game—which was presumed to be Favre’s last game in the NFL—drew a paltry 13 million viewers.
— Michael Signora (@NFLfootballinfo) December 25, 2017
CNN reported the NFL’s plans for this Sunday.
“We felt that both from a competitive standpoint and from a fan perspective, the most fair thing to do is to schedule all Week 17 games in either the 1 p.m. or 4:25 p.m. ET windows,” NFL senior vice president of broadcasting Howard Katz told ESPN. “This ensures that we do not have a matchup on Sunday Night Football on New Year’s Eve that because of earlier results has no playoff implications for one or both of the competing teams.”
According to ESPN, this breaks a 40-year streak.
“The last time the NFL regular season didn’t end with a night game, either on Sunday or Monday, was in 1977—the last season with a 14-game schedule. The last time the final NFL Sunday fell on New Year’s Eve was 2006,” ESPN noted.
Now, all of Sunday’s games will be broadcast on CBS or Fox.
Typically, fewer people watch television on New Year’s Eve.