NFL on TV -- Which network gets which interconference games?

How does the NFL divide up which interconference games are shown on Fox and which on CBS? Is it case-by-case, or is there some general rule (e.g., by the home team)?

Details are on the NFL site. If you’re using an adblocker you might have to disable it to see the page (I did).

It is determined by the road team’s network. For example, if the Bears play the Dolphins in Miami, it would be on the NFC’s network (Fox). If the game were played in Chicago, it would be on the AFC’s network (CBS).

Your link is to the playoffs schedule.

That’s the rule, unless said game is being carried by one of the networks which carries the “national” games (NBC, ESPN, or NFL Network).

As each team plays four games per season against teams from the other conference (2 home, 2 away), it means that each NFC team will be carried on CBS no more than twice, while each AFC team will be carried on Fox no more than twice.


Oops, I don’t know how I managed that.

Just to finish the topic off, the reason that the away team’s network carries the game is so that both networks get to travel to all 31 stadiums. (Or at least most of them, depending on how flex scheduling goes.)

I have known the rule for years, but I am curious why you say “get to travel” like they want to travel to each stadium.

It seems to me that Fox would want to stay in the NFC stadiums because they know where the infrastructure is. you would think that there would be a learning curve when Fox goes to Pittsburgh and when NBC goes St Louis.

personally, I think it is more of “blackout” situation when homegames are not sold out.

It’s to showcase the stadiums. For example, this year CBS gets to jizz all over Jerrytown twice instead of never.

I can’t imagine being familiar with the infrastructure is given any consideration at all, and I don’t see how blackout rules matter. Either the game is blacked out in the home market or it isn’t, regardless of whether it’s on CBS or Fox.

32 if you factor in the Rogers Centre.

I live in the St Louis market, and their games seldom sell out. (no editorial comment needed :D). If Fox broadcast all their home games, and they were all blacked out, the St Louis Fox affiliate would be at a competitive disadvantage to the CBS St Louis affiliate for all their home games, which typically carries the Chiefs. CBS is forced to televised two of the Rams home games, therefore they get blacked out in St Louis.

I think the Packers used to play in Green Bay and Milwaukee. They may have stopped that practice.

They did. They last played in Milwaukee in 1994. Expansions and upgrades to Lambeau Field made playing in Milwaukee a money-losing operation, compared to playing the same games in Green Bay.

33 - Wembley, too, although only one network gets to go there each year, obviously.

I’m not following the logic. First, are you trying to suggest that the Chiefs sell out? (Does Missouri have some miserable football this season or what?)

All kidding aside, I don’t understand how it matters. Could you walk me through it?

What he’s saying is this:

  • Assume that the Rams don’t sell out any of their games. That’s 8 games that are blacked-out in St. Louis.
  • As the Rams are an NFC team, Fox is the network which usually carries their games.
  • Because CBS televises the interconference games when NFC teams are at home, the St. Louis CBS affiliate would, in theory, be telecasting the Rams’ two home games against AFC opponents.
  • So, at worst*, the Fox station in St. Louis will be unable to carry 6 Rams games, while the CBS station in St. Louis would be unable to carry either of the Rams games which are on CBS.
  • If the network for interconference games were determined by the “home” network, then the St. Louis Fox station would be blacked out for 8 Rams games, not 6.
    • Some of those 6 games may be on one of the national packages (NBC, ESPN, or NFL Network)…though, given how bad St. Louis has been for the past few years, it wouldn’t surprise me if they didn’t have any games picked up by the national packages.

Missed the edit window…

In addition, my understanding is that there are a fair number of Chiefs fans in the St. Louis TV market, and that Chiefs games do pretty well on TV there.

I’m not convinced that it’s a big “competitive advantage”, since, if the Rams are at home, the NFL TV contract prohibits any other game from being televised in St. Louis. Someone from St. Louis or Detroit might be able to answer this: if your team is at home, and its game is being blacked out, is there no game on either Fox or CBS in that time slot?

Thanks Kenobi, you are expressing my point more eloquently than I can.

Chiefs games are not blacked out in St Louis, because St Louis is far enough away.

YES!! I told you there was no editorial comment needed!!

FTR, the Missouri Tigers have pretty much sucked this season too. And my local high school had a pathetic team as well.

and to top it all off, the Cardinals lost thee straight in the Playoffs. It sucks to be a Missouri sports fan this autumn.

Fortunately, I am not a fan of any of these teams, except the high school team.

But, if the Rams are playing at home, at noon (and the game is blacked out in St. Louis)…and the Chiefs are also playing at noon, is neither game shown in St. Louis?