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2017 schedule coming soon

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Sunday Night Football's executive producer Fred Gaudelli discusses how he's preparing for Super Bowl LII along with the most fun games he's ever produced.

The calendar says April, which means that the configuration of NFL games to be played in September through December will soon be released.

The NFL has posted a lengthy explanation of the complex and convoluted process of putting a schedule together, and there’s a nugget of news in there: The 2017 schedule will include Saturday games in Week 15 and Week 16.

That’s December 16 and December 23, respectively. It’s unclear how many games will be scheduled on those dates. With Christmas Eve falling on a Sunday this year, the league will likely stage a full slate of games that day.

The last time Christmas Eve landed on a Sunday, the NFL moved the NBC game to Christmas Day, with the Eagles and Cowboys facing off at 4:00 p.m. ET. The Jets and Dolphins played that evening, on ESPN.

That approach in 2017 would create a potential NBA conflict for ESPN, which televised games at 8:00 p.m. ET and 10:30 p.m. ET on December 25 in 2016.

It’s just one of the many issues Howard Katz and company will have to resolve as they continue the Herculean task of picking days and times for 256 games played over 17 weeks.