May schedule release isn’t going away
The pandemic forced the NFL to bump the schedule release from the middle of April to the middle of May. And that’s where it’s staying.
Via Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal, the NFL has decided to stick with a May schedule release moving forward.
“It’s always been about pushing ourselves to innovate, to create more meaningful engagement and tentpole type events during the offseason,” NFL Senior VP/Club Business Development Bobby Gallo told Fischer. “We believe that by strategically doing it after draft, we give ourselves a better opportunity to do that.”
The benefit of a post-draft schedule release comes from the league better knowing which rookies will land with which teams, allowing games to be selected for more prominent placement based on the expected presence of a compelling young player on the team.
This year, the schedule will be released on May 12. Fischer reports that, like last year, teams will be permitted to release their individual schedules before the 8:00 p.m. ET removal of the sheet on the full slate of games. This year, however, teams will get a head start of only 15 minutes. Last year, it was 30.
So, officially, the schedule will be released next Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. ET. Unofficially, teams will start posting them 15 minutes earlier.