Since not too many people will be watching television on New Year's Eve, the NFL opted to not schedule a Sunday Night Football game this weekend. That sent NBC scrambling for a way to fill up four hours of programming. Here's a look at what NBC is airing instead.
The peacock network will air a repeat of a two-hour Dateline episode in the 7 p.m. ET timeslot. Then, two episodes of the Chris Hardwick-hosted game show The Wall will air at 9 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. ET.
Unlike ABC and Fox, NBC does not have a national New Year's Eve special airing tonight.
The NFL announced the schedule for Week 17, the last week of the season, on Dec. 24. The league usually schedules a game with playoff implications for SNF, but decided against that this year.
"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 p.m. or 4:25 p.m. windows," NFL Senior Vice President of Broadcasting Howard Katz said in a statement.
The official reason is that the NFL didn't want a game featuring two teams already eliminated from the playoffs getting a national broadcast. But in reality, the reason is merely ratings.
As Deadspin points out, the last time a SNF game aired on New Year's Eve was back on Dec. 31, 2006. That game had the Green Bay Packers playing the Chicago Bears, and only averaged 13.4 million viewers and a 4.7 18-49 rating.