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A Word About NFL Weekends On CBS

By Ken Foote, CBSDFW.COM
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I always get this weird, gut feeling on NFL weekends on CBS 11 where it’s a CBS doubleheader day nationally and a station like ours, who carries AFC games in an NFC market, has certain uncontrollable things to deal with.

Some of you may have seen my post on our CBS 11 Facebook page from this past Sunday where I alerted everyone that we could not carry a noon game from CBS since FOX had the Buccaneers/Cowboys game from Cowboys Stadium. Needless to say, I was amazed at how many comments we received and the wide scope of comments, many of which thought we were being a little devious about things. Nothing could be further from the truth! But the truth is that the NFL Home Market Rule applied this past weekend which prohibits an out of market game airing simultaneously with the broadcast of the home market team when they are AT HOME. This rule has been around for over 50 years and it’s not going away. I know many of you want to see what you want and when you want it, not when station or a network schedules it. While technology today moves faster today than ever before, the legalities of these things don’t change as quickly.

The other thing that took place during our late NFL game was indeed rare. We were supposed to join the Texans/Broncos game at 3:25 p.m. We rejoined CBS at 3:00 p.m. and then they sent us to an early game that we were not permitted to air from the start at noon. Little did we know at that time that we would have TWO… count them… TWO early games that went to overtime before we got to the Texans/Broncos game. And then on top of that, CBS took everyone to the Steelers/Raiders game since it was still going on. Finally at 7:08 p.m., we started the CBS prime time line up… but since the DH games ran long, CBS dropped “The Good Wife” so that local stations could get to their late local news at a decent time. And as CBS’s Bob Schieffer would say, “And that is that!”

I was taking a couple of days off to see our older son graduate from the U.S. Army’s Armor School in Fort Benning, Georgia when I started seeing the email from viewers about where the Houston game was. Even when I am away on vacation, I still always stay in touch with what’s going on back home. It drives my family crazy but it comes with the territory. Many viewers thought that we should have gone directly to the Texans/Broncos game. If you were watching that game in Houston on KHOU, the CBS affiliate there, the NFL’s Mandatory Kickoff Rule would have applied. That means if the home teams plays in the late window on DH days, viewers will see that game from the top with no loss of coverage. But that rule didn’t apply to our area so our viewers didn’t start seeing the game until almost 4:10 p.m. KTVT CBS 11 cannot switch to another game by itself from our Fort Worth studios… it can only be done by CBS Network Operations.

As the old Dave Clark Five song and movie from 1965 goes, “having a wild weekend, having a wild weekend, reelin’ and rockin’, rockin and a rollin!”

See you next time.

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