It feels like a lifetime ago when the Cincinnati Bengals rarely appeared on National Television.
In 2020, Joe Burrow’s rookie season, the Bengals saw just two primetime games on their schedule... Thursday Night Football Week 2 in Cleveland and Monday Night Football Week 15 in Cincinnati.
In 2021, the year Cincinnati went to the Super Bowl, the team only had one primetime game going into the season... Thursday Night Football Week 4 against Jacksonville.
The Bengals received five primetime games last season (two at home and three on the road) and also had three 4:25 p.m. matchups as well.
According to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com, the number of primetime games allowed is now six.
Cincinnati’s 2023 schedule consists of:
- Home - Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings, and Buffalo Bills
- Away - Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars, San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans, and Kansas City Chiefs
Mike North, the NFL’s vice president in broadcasting, believes almost every opponent the Bengals will face could be a compelling argument for a primetime spot, according to Hobson.
In Hobson’s article, North went on to say, “You can find a really good national television home for probably 12 of their 17 games. That tells you what we think of the Bengals. They’re going to be seen on a lot of national television.”
Joe Burrow has been an absolute star in primetime games for the Bengals and has led Cincinnati to back-to-back AFC Championship appearances.
The Bengals have implemented themselves as must-watch football after those appearances.
According to CBS Sports, in 2021 there were over 48 million viewers, and in 2022 there were just over 53 million viewers.
The 2023 NFL schedule is set to be released early next month.