Football for breakfast: NFL keeps early start in London
NEW YORK — Good news if you like your breakfast with a side of football.
The NFL will keep a 9:30 a.m. ET start time for three games in London this season. That means more than 12 hours of football on those Sundays.
There had been speculation that the NFL would move the games to 1 p.m. ET.
By keeping the early start for American viewers, the NFL can also broadcast three live games in prime time for Asian markets.
The NFL claims to have a British fan base of more than 13 million people. It’s adding a fourth game in London this year. That game will start at 1 p.m. ET.
The four London matchups:
— Sept. 24, Ravens vs. Jaguars at Wembley Stadium (9:30 a.m. ET)
— Oct. 1, Saints vs. Dolphins at Wembley Stadium (9:30 a.m. ET)
— Oct. 22, Cardinals vs. Rams at Twickenham Stadium (1 p.m. ET)
— Oct. 29, Vikings vs. Browns at Twickenham Stadium (9:30 a.m. ET)
Related: St. Louis sues NFL for moving Rams to L.A.
The NFL will also stage a game in Mexico City, the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders at Estadio Azteca on Nov. 19.
London game times may be mostly staying the same, but the NFL is making changes after suffering a ratings slump last season.
The presidential election and poor matchups took a toll on ratings early last season. They rebounded over Thanksgiving and during the postseason.
In a letter to fans in March, Commissioner Roger Goodell pledged to cut down on commercial breaks to speed up games. Last season, he suggested that change might boost ratings.