NFL

NFL announces plans to hold 1st-ever Christmas Day tripleheader

Could the Patriots be a candidate?

Arizona Cardinals tight end Demetrius Harris is in the spirit. Darryl Webb/AP Photo

Christmas Day falls on a Sunday this year, and the NFL plans to maximize the opportunity by having three games on Dec. 25 for the first time ever.

There will be two afternoon games, on CBS and Fox, then NBC will host a prime-time battle. The league will have its regular Thursday night game on Dec. 22, 11 games on Dec. 24, plus a Monday night matchup on Dec. 26.

“Christmas, when it falls on an NFL game day, we’ve had a lot of success there, all due respect to our friends at the NBA. It is something that our friends are interested in,” NFL vice president of broadcasting Mike North told WGR radio host Sal Capaccio. “If Christmas falls on a Sunday, it makes perfect sense.”

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This year’s matchups will be announced the week of May 9.

It will be the third consecutive season the league has had a game on Christmas Day, bringing the all-time total to 27 games. Last year’s game between the Packers and Browns was the third-most watched game of the regular season.

The Patriots have never played on Christmas Day.

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