(NEXSTAR) – For a second week in a row, NFL fans will have twice as many games to watch during Monday Night Football. While it isn’t exactly a new norm, it isn’t the last time it’ll happen this season.
Last week was the first doubleheader of the season, featuring a 20-17 win by the New Orleans Saints over the Carolina Panthers and a 26-22 Pittsburgh Steelers win over the Cleveland Browns.
This week, the Philadelphia Eagles will travel to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before the Cincinnati Bengals host the Los Angeles Rams.
While it may be fun for football fans, the explanation isn’t very enthralling.
It’s part of new broadcasting agreements the NFL reached with ESPN. The deal, completed in 2021, gave ESPN and fellow Disney-owned network ABC more games, The Athletic explains.
The Eagles and Buccaneers will play first, with kickoff set for 7:15 p.m. ET on ABC. Then at 8:15 p.m. ET, the Rams and Bengals will kickoff on ESPN.
We’ll see another multigame Monday Night Football on Christmas Day when the Las Vegas Raiders visit the Kansas City Chiefs, the New York Giants play the Dallas Cowboys, and the Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco 49ers.
Previously, doubleheaders were held on the first Monday of the season, according to NorthJersey.com. We also had this last year, when the Tennessee Titans faced off against the Buffalo Bills in Week 2 and the Minnesota Vikings played the Philadelphia Eagles in the first-ever two-game Monday Night Football series as part of the new deal.
Last week, it was announced that ABC would be airing more Monday Night Football games than originally planned due to strikes by the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents Disney, Netflix, Amazon and others.
The strikes, which have been going on for months, have delayed most of the upcoming fall television season.
But now, the Writers Guild of America has reached a tentative deal with Hollywood studios to end their nearly five-month-long strike. It’s unclear what, if any, impact a deal could have on ABC’s expanded NFL schedule.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.