By Ken Foote | CBSDFW.COM

Well, the NFL regular season is officially upon us. CBS 11 is your home for the best of the AFC starting this Sunday at noon with the Jacksonville Jaguars taking on the Philadelphia Eagles and beginning Thursday, September 11, CBS NFL Thursday Night Football premieres September 11th, with Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens.

With the start of the season, we want to remind everyone about how NFL rules affect local scheduling, especially a station like CBS 11 that is an AFC station in an NFC market:

1. Both CBS and FOX will switch off between single header and double header days on Sunday afternoons per their agreements with the NFL. NBC will have the Sunday night game while ESPN will have the Monday night game. CBS will have Thursday Night Football for 8 weeks also simulcast with the NFL Network. Starting this postseason, NBC and ESPN will have a greater share of airing NFL postseason games.

2. Both networks can be either singleheader (SH) or doubleheader (DH) but not both except in Week 17 where both CBS and FOX are designated as DH networks.

3. Game assignments are made by the networks (both CBS and FOX) and sometimes we may not be able to show the game you want… but we will try to make sure we have the best games! The noon games are regional coverage while the 3:25 p.m. games on DH days are more national in scope.

4. There will be times where the NFL Home Market Rule will apply. This 60+ year old rule basically says that a station may not air a non-home market NFL game head to head with a home market team game played at home. It also applies when a network is a SH day but the home team is on the road on the DH designated network, which means that the SH station airs a game not in direct competition with the home team matchup. What does this mean to you? It means we are prohibited from airing a game at a time that viewers could be expecting a game but they see something else!

5. Both CBS and FOX have the ability to exercise the “flex” rule. This means that if a game not involving the home team becomes increasingly less competitive, the networks can move a station to another game that is more compelling. Viewers typically do not like this but it happens! One a station is flexed to another game, NFL rules prohibit the networks from going back to that game in the original markets even if it becomes competitive.

6. On days when assigned games ends early, the networks may move a station to another game in progress. This happens a lot on DH days when the network is wrapping up sports coverage before network prime time entertainment begins. On SH days, CBS and FOX may show “bonus” coverage after 3:00 p.m. CT but by around 3:20 p.m. they are required to cease providing that bonus coverage. This doesn’t apply to the game(s) assigned to us, for example, that ran past that time.

We kickoff this coming Sunday with Cowboys Gameday With Randy White at 10:30 a.m., followed by the NFL Today at 11:00 a.m. On the radio side, you can hear all the Cowboys game on our 100,000 watts sports blowtorch, KRLD-FM (105.3 The Fan) with Brad Sham on play-by-play and Babe Laufenberg with analysis.

See you next time.

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