Cleveland Browns: Predicting primetime TV games for 2019

Predicting national televised games for the Cleveland Browns during the 2019 season, after a recent article gauged interest from TV producers.

The Athletic’s media insider, Richard Deitsch gave a big write up to national buzz surrounding the Cleveland Browns entering the 2019 season with an emphasis on primetime TV games.

Deitsch interviewed a few big wigs in the industry to measure whether the hype surrounding the Browns was being felt the same way by producers of the NFL’s primetime games.

Nothing official yet, of course, but it looks like there will be no dearth of Browns games to appear in primetime this season.

Deitsch also interviewed Ad Age’s Anthony Crupi, who pointed out that the Browns have gotten the least amount of attention when it comes to appearing in primetime games. From 2012 to 2018, the Browns had just nine national dates. The Cowboys led the league with 74. Green Bay was No. 2 (55),  Pittsburgh, No. 3 (52), and New England (48).

Crupi predicted the NFL will assign Cleveland four to five national TV games for the Browns in 2019, including one prime time game.)

Some other takeaway’s from Deitsch’s column:

CBS vice president of programming Dan Weinberg was interviewed for the story and was quoted saying the following:

“The Browns were on our radar last year and will be more so this year,” said Dan Weinberg, executive vice president of programming for CBS Sports.”

Must of not been on CBS’ radar enough to actually warrant playing their Thursday Night Game on CBS. That Week 3 contest was relegated to NFL Network.

At the very least, CBS did have the Browns for a 4 p.m. appearance in a high coveted time slot. CBS moved the Browns Week 17 finale against Baltimore into that space, which draws a huge national audience. Shame it took them until the final week of the season, to do it, though.

Not really a surprise, though, because it’s rare to find the programmers who can find a team on the “up.” Television is reactive. The Browns were good that season and they added superstar names. The channels will react appropriately.

We know who the Browns will play this season, but we don’t know when just yet. With that said, here’s the best guesses for the Browns’ primetime appearances in 2019.

1. MNF appearance, @ New York Jets: The NFL will heavily tout its history as it celebrates its 100th year in existence. The chance to re-create the first Monday Night Football contest between the Browns and Jets will be too good to pass up.

2. SNF appearance, home vs. Rams: Sunday Night Football producer Fred Gaudelli would tip his hand as to whether the Browns would appear on SNFL in 2019, but how could they not?

This one screams Sunday Night as the defending NFC champs and a high powered offense led by Jared Goff go up against up-and-comers Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry and company.

3. TNF appearance, @ Arizona Cardinals: The storyline is too good not to be the center of attention for a primetime game. This contest will pit Baker Mayfield against his old college coach, who wouldn’t give him a scholarship at Texas Teach. Contest could also feature first overall pick Kyler Murray, who stepped in for Mayfield last season at Oklahoma.

4. SNF appearance, @ New England Patriots: This contest is a no-brainer, but some throw around the idea of using it to kick off the season on Thursday night. If your’ a Browns fan, take a pass on that. It’ll be better in the long run. New England’s been there, done that, but it’s all new to the Browns.

Player a Sunday nighter later in the season. It’ll still be good.

Next: 5 AAF players Browns should invite to Training Camp

5. MNF appearance, home Pittsburgh: The Steelers have suffered some losses, but still have Ben Roethlisberger. To be the man, you gotta beat the man, and he’s who is left standing in the way of the Browns taking control of the AFC North.

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