I posted a while back in one of the data science threads that I worked with a team at McKinsey who were all data scientists/analysts and they partnered with the NFL to help them create the schedule. And they focused on maximizing ratings and used historical data to project the best way to set up the schedules. Basically this part
|The first step is based in both math and reality. Before creating the schedule, the NFL identifies a small number of games -- usually between 40 and 50 -- to lock in. The league refers to this as "seeding." It helps accommodate expectations from television partners for key games in certain time slots, as well as about 200 annual requests from owners who prefer their stadiums not be used in a given week because of concerts, baseball games, marathons and other potential complications.
They were involved in this seeding. And that's when I asked them to change the algorithm to do 2 things
- Put the Giants on at 1 PM
- Don't start the season in Dallas
They laughed, but I don't think they realized I wasn't joking.