The regular season’s final Sunday Night Football telecast has been scrapped, after the NFL shuffled the Dec. 31 schedule to, simply said, keep that late game from possibly being meaningless.
“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 pm or 4:25 pm ET windows,” NFL SVP of Broadcasting Howard Katz said in a statement. “This ensures that we do not have a match-up 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.”
Among the changes for next Sunday, CBS’ Cincinnati/Baltimore, Buffalo/Miami and Jacksonville/Tennessee games have been moved from 1 pm to 4:25 pm, as have Fox’s Carolina/Atlanta and New Orleans/Tampa Bay match-ups.
The complete NFL slate for Sunday, Dec. 31 can be found here.
TVLine will keep you posted on NBC’s plans to fill its primetime slate that night.