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

Can someone explain why they don’t show the double header if your local team is playing at home on the network that has the double header that week?

I’m almost positive that they do…

If I had a job that required so much travel, I’d want as much variety as I could get. I don’t know how many network people travel to each game, but I imagine they’d get tired of the same hotels and the same restaurants in the same cities after a while.

Well, we didn’t get it last week. 1:00 Jets at home on CBS. 4:00 Cowboys at Packers on FOX. No other afternoon games. It happens a lot here. Having two home teams that share a stadium means usually one of them is playing at home on Sunday afternoon.

Last week FOX had the Double header, not CBS.

the Chiefs will be shown in St Louis. On CBS.

If you have a team in your area playing at home, you will not get a game opposing that home game on another network. Don’t know the exact rule, but if the double-header is on Fox, and the Titans are playing at home and are on CBS, we never get another game at the same time.

If they’re on the road, then we will get the other game in the double header.

I just remember growing up in Lexington, KY, that we got double headers on both networks each week. This was before the Sunday Night Football and Thursday Night Football existed. It was just Sunday afternoon and Monday night.

A couple points:

Both sides are aspects of the same idea: distributing the games among the networks as evenly as reasonable.

I say it’s to give the networks a chance to visit more stadiums, which I read as the reason back in 2001 when they announced the new schedule formula, but I have no cite so take that for what it’s worth. You guys say it’s to dilute the risk of blacked out games.

What I don’t understand is how a blacked out game is bad for networks. Do the local affiliates have to refund the ad buys? If I were drawing up the ad contracts, I would surely include a “warning: may be blacked out” risk as part of the ad selling contract from the beginning, meaning I (as a network) get paid regardless. I just can’t imagine the networks would put up with the blackout rules if they were losing tons of money on them.

It’s not so much affecting the network as it is affecting the local network affiliate which is prohibited from carrying the game.

NFL games generally get fairly good ratings, especially compared to whatever else that station would end up running in the game’s place on a Sunday afternoon (fishing shows, Seinfeld re-runs, whatever).

The local affiliate would have sold ad space locally for station breaks during the NFL broadcast, but most of the ads that run during the game are running at the national network level. When they suddenly find themselves with 3 hours of air space to fill (and they won’t know, for certain, until 72 hours before the game), they have a lot more ad space to fill. They can run the ads that they’d already “sold” for the game, but the ratings will likely be much lower, and they may need to give those advertisers “make-goods” (additional airings of their ads) to make up the difference in viewership), and they also may not be able to sell all the additional ad space in that short time.

I thought “blacked out” games were replaced by the national broadcast.

Lets take the Rams example further.

Assume all their games are on Sunday afternoons, ie no ESPN, no NBC, no NFL Network.

Part of the perk of the St Louis Fox affiliate is that Fox has the NFC contract and the Rams are in the NFC. The Fox Affiliate gets to broadcast most of the Rams games.

Alas, the Rams stink, and they don’t sell out the Dome.

Ergo, Fox affiliate doesn’t get to broadcast home games as they are blacked out.

But Fox affiliate gets to broadcast the 8 away games, two of which will be in AFC stadiums. If CBS has the right to inter-conference games in AFC stadiums, Fox is now down to broadcasting 6 Rams games.

The Fox Affiliate is part of the FOX family and the Fox Family has the contract with the NFC. But the Fox affiliate only gets to broadcast 6 of 16 Rams games. 37.5%.

Now, lets remove the assumption of no Rams games on NBC, ESPN, NFL Network and the Rams have two roads games that will be featured on these networks.

Voila, the Fox Affiliate is now down to broadcasting 4 games of the Rams.

IMO, this is the primary reason why Fox broadcasts inter-conference games in AFC stadiums and CBS vice versa.

Nope, because the rules also state that no other game can be shown in that market at the same time as the home game.

I am 160 miles from Charlotte but we would be included in a Panthers blackout since our market, Raleigh-Durham , reaches some fans close enough to Charlotte. I think the limit is around 100 miles?

If the broadcaster’s reach extends to a household that is within 75 miles of the stadium, that broadcaster will be blacked out.

I live about 130 miles south of St Louis (as the crow flies). My Fox affiliate is about 90 miles from St Louis, and I am sure their reach is into within 75 miles of the DOME. I don’t watch much NFL football, but I don’t remember having the RAMS blackout.

Today, Arizona is playing at St Louis, 3 pm local time (4 pm et). According to my listings, I get the Rams game at 3 pm, and no Fox game at noon. CBS has the doubleheader today, and the Rams are the only game Fox is covering at 3 pm.

I am curious what FOX game I’ll be seeing. I doubt if the Rams are sold out, but I guess they could be.

Frankly, I would rather watch the Cowboys/Redskins at noon, which I think is the featured Fox early game. And watch the Pats/Jets game at 3 pm. Fortunately, I am not saddled with the Chiefs as my early CBS game as I get the Colts/Ravens.

FTR, there is no game at noon by from my Fox affiliate.

So if they black out the Rams at 3 pm, I guess my Fox affiliate has no game this week.

Didn’t really think that through, did you? I reject your conclusion due to your incorrect facts and faulty reasoning.

If CBS gets the two Rams away games against the AFC, then Fox gets the two home ones agaisnt AFC teams. No matter how you slice it, barring a national game, Fox always gets 8 Rams games. Also, you talk about national Fox ads in 1pm games, but that’s not how it works. Fox shows half a dozen different games at 1pm, none of which is nationally televised. (Because there are five other ones in various regions of the country.) Pretty much all 1pm ads are local in that they don’t get broadcast to a unified national audience.

Whats wrong with the reasoning?

And IIRC, there are “feature” games for early games, if any of there other games are not regional. The Fox affiliate in Cheyenne, Wyoming has no nearby NFC teams. Seattle? Minnesota? St Louis? Phoenix? San Francisco? Cheyenne would get the featured game, which I believe was the Redskin/Dallas game.

I’ll bold your original points to reduce quote box frenzy.

Assume all their games are on Sunday afternoons, ie no ESPN, no NBC, no NFL Network.
Agreed.

Part of the perk of the St Louis Fox affiliate is that Fox has the NFC contract and the Rams are in the NFC. The Fox Affiliate gets to broadcast most of the Rams games.
This is fine as long as you never appeal to national commercials, because by definition that St Louis affiliate commercial will not be broadcast in any market that has its own home team playing, nor any market without a team if there is a more compelling generic game than the Rams. (Which is a high probability.)

But then again, the Rams don’t always suck. They were the hot ticket during the first half of this decade, so there is a clear eb and flow to the draw for different markets. (Except Detroit.) Based on this fact alone, I don’t think it’s reasonable to assume that local network affiliates are on their own. They almost have to be involved in a unified revenue-sharing arrangement for the network deals with the NFL to be even remotely workable. (Something like a billion dollars a year per network.)

**Alas, the Rams stink, and they don’t sell out the Dome.

Ergo, Fox affiliate doesn’t get to broadcast home games as they are blacked out.**
I’m with you, but I don’t think the Fox affiliate has to shoulder the load because I think the NFL deals are network-based, not affiliate-based.

What?