Why is there no Monday Night Football tonight, Jan. 1?

The biggest reason why there is no Monday Night Football on January 1 is because of ESPN.

Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
Joe Buck, Troy Aikman / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

Unfortunately, there will not be Monday Night Football on New Year's Day. The last regular season rendition on Monday Night Football came on Saturday night, December 30. While ESPN will telecast again during the NFL Playoffs, there will not be another regular season game airing on their network this year. The only primetime game in Week 18 will be airing on NBC for some Sunday Night Football.

So many NFL fans are probably wondering why there isn't any Monday Night Football on Monday night during the penultimate week. I mean, there is always a primetime game on Monday night in the second to last week of the regular season, right? Well, this has everything to do with college football, as ESPN is the proud broadcasting partner of the final four-team College Football Playoff. That is why.

Because New Year's Eve fell on a Sunday this year, there was no college football to be had, as it was an NFL Sunday. If another broadcasting network had the rights to Monday Night Football, it may have been on for this week on January 1. But since we have the two national semifinals in the College Football Playoff on Monday, there will be no more NFL games this week. Crazy, I know, but is reality.

So enjoy the Rose Bowl between No. 1 Michigan and No. 4 Alabama followed by the Sugar Bowl between No. 2 Washington and No. 3 Texas on ESPN instead of watching Monday Night Football!

Here is why there is no Monday Night Football on January 1, 2024

It is always a tricky proposition this time of year between the associated turf that college football and the NFL occupy. College football never thinks about scheduling games on a Sunday when the NFL is in season. They will do it during Labor Day Weekend, but that is before the NFL regular season is fully underway. As for the NFL, the shield will dip onto college's turf as soon as it financially makes sense.

The NFL will usually wait until after Championship Saturday before scheduling a few of its games on a Saturday. Army-Navy will usually draw a huge number, but that is usually the only college game on that weekend. Bowl season typically sees games being played on pretty much every day of the week, outside of Christmas and on Sundays. Thus, it is rare to see the NFL act this way on Monday night.

Still, what you have to remember at its core is Monday Night Football is an ESPN production, the same company that produces and runs the College Football Playoff. Since they are the lone producer for both, ESPN can choose accordingly. ESPN has long done college football exceeding well, while it has final found its footing with NFL games now that Joe Buck and Troy Aikman came over from FOX.

Monday Night Football may have been a lot of fun on Jan. 1, but the College Football Playoff prevails!

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