With College Football Diluted and Broadcast Shows Delayed, TV’s Fall Season Rides on the NFL

Pro football remains the hottest ticket for advertisers, who spent $5 billion on NFL games last year

Professional football has long been considered one of the last remaining pillars holding up the legacy television model. In 2020, the league will have to play the part of Atlas.

College football is missing half of its schools, including Ohio State, Michigan and Oregon. Broadcast TV is starting its 2020-21 season with more acquired programming and non-scripted fare than usual as it waits for its primetime series to get back behind the camera. The NFL, which kicks off its 2020 campaign on Thursday night, will have to navigate through a still-raging pandemic as the calendar shifts to fall and winter, around the time many health experts fear the country could see a resurgence of the COVID-19 disease.

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Tim Baysinger

TV reporter • tim.baysinger@thewrap.com • Twitter: @tim_bays