Check your cable provider, ladies and gentlemen, and take good stock of your relatives' cable providers. Otherwise, you may miss the Cowboys' traditional Thanksgiving Day game this year.
The NFL will announce plans soon to move eight Saturday and Thursday games to its NFL Network this fall, according to the New York Times.
The inaugural game will be a Thanksgiving evening game between the Cowboys and Washington Redskins. The league had been working on a deal for these games with Comcast, a major cable provider, but abandoned those plans to go into the broadcast world on its own. The games will represent the first time the NFL has acted as a broadcast distributor of its games. It had been content to negotiate deals with major broadcast and cable networks for the rights to air contests.
The league hopes the switch will increase the reach of the NFL Network, currently seen in only 35 million households. The league has thus far been unable to reach distribution deals with cable giants Time Warner and Charter cable.
The NFL receives approximately $3.7 billion per year from the four major networks, ESPN and DirecTV. That translates into more than $100 million per team before a single ticket, concession or piece of merchandise is sold.