Dolly Parton and the Rockefeller Tree Reportedly ‘a Factor’ in Scheduling Afternoon Ravens-Steelers Game

by Kayla Zadel
(Photo by Ron Davis/Getty Images)

Dolly Parton and a Rockefeller Christmas tree tradition or a rescheduled NFL football game? It looks like Parton and Christmas are taking the W over a rescheduled NFL game today. The Rockefeller tree lighting has won NBC’s primetime TV spot.

The Baltimore Ravens and the undefeated Pittsburg Steelers matchup’s been rescheduled not once, or twice, but four times. Now, it will be taking a backseat to the Rockefeller Christmas extravaganza.

The game was supposed to be played on Thanksgiving night, and then on Sunday. However, it was postponed again and now the game’s going to be played Wednesday afternoon. Kickoff starts at 3:40 pm EST on NBC. The continuous rescheduling was due to a coronavirus outbreak within the Ravens organization.

The NFL game is going to lead into the Christmas tree lighting. While the Christmas in Rockefeller Center production probably won’t bring in the ratings like the Ravens and Steelers matchup, the ceremony proved a bit harder to reschedule.

The Christmas festivities brought in around 7-million viewers last year, and that’s still an impressive number. However, when it’s compared to the 30-million viewers that the Dallas Cowboys-Washington Redskins game raked in on Thanksgiving, the mere single-digit number seems dismal.

NFL Doesn’t Want to Steal Rockefeller Christmas Cheer

This afternoon game is for sure out of the ordinary, but the NFL is compromising on this decision.

“We have a great partnership with the NFL and we found a solution that worked for everyone concerned,” an NBC spokesperson told CNN Business. CNN adds that a source close to the matter reports the Christmas tree lighting was “a factor” in adjusting the Wednesday NFL game kick-off.

Sports Business Journal reporter John Ourand also shares some insightful information.

Ourand tweets, “NBC would have moved the tree lighting ceremony to accommodate the NFL. ‘Usually known for playing hardball — even with its partners — the NFL decided against pressing the issue.'”

The Rockefeller Christmas Tree lighting ceremony is a huge production for NBC and the City of New York. Additionally, NBC’s been heavily promoting the event, that moving the date would be difficult. Several performers are also taking the stage Wednesday night and the logistics of rescheduling them would also throw a major wrench in the plan.

However, NBC was starting to make plans to “move the tree lighting ceremony to one of its cable channels or, possibly, carry a taped version on NBC the next day” Ourand reports.

It seems like the NFL is playing nice and “did not put NBC in a position where it had to make that choice,” according to Ourand, understanding “the amount that it has asked broadcasters to be flexible for during the 2020 season.”

You can learn how to watch the Rockefeller tree lighting here.