NFL schedule 2017: ESPN wants better ‘Monday Night Football’ games – Chicago Tribune

Of the 17 “Monday Night Football” games played on ESPN in 2016, just two featured teams that would both go on to make the playoffs.

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” package, meanwhile, got five such games thanks in part to the network’s league-awarded ability to flex out less-appealing contests for more meaningful matchups.

Don’t think this fact is lost on ESPN in the era of cord-cutting, subscriber losses and astronomical rights fees. Burke Magnus, the network’s executive vice president of programming and scheduling, admitted as much on Wednesday, one day before the NFL‘s 2017 regular season schedule is released.

“We have high expectations because we’ve been as engaged with the league as we ever have been in terms of what the results are going to be,” Magnus said at the 2017 CAA World Congress of Sports, per Sports Business Daily. “We’ve done everything we can possibly do to communicate with the league and guide them in terms of our preferences, and now we’ll see.”

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