In this Aug. 1, 2011, file photo, Mark Lazarus, Chairman of NBC Sports Group, takes part in a panel discussion on "Sunday Night Football" along with the show's producer Fred Gaudelli at the NBC Universal summer press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. For the first time since flexible scheduling came to “Sunday Night Football” in 2006, the NFL could go an entire season without needing it. The NFL’s knack for defying the viewership declines that plague nearly everything else on TV wouldn’t be possible without each time slot consistently filled with enticing matchups, said Lazarus. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time since flexible scheduling came to “Sunday Night Football” in 2006, the NFL could go an entire season without needing it.

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