Several of you have asked recently for details on the tentative schedule for the four games to be played on wild-card weekend.
Here’s the easy answer — there is no tentative schedule.
Since 2006, NBC has broadcast a pair of games on Saturday, and CBS
televises an AFC contest on Sunday and FOX shows the remaining NFC game.
And as Peter King of SI.com pointed out earlier in the week, there’s no selection process among the three networks.
As Howard Katz of the league office told King, none get a choice. “They all lobby, of course,” Katz said, “but it’s a league decision.”
The prime targets will be the teams with national followings, like the Dallas Cowboys and the New England Patriots. And though we have no inside information in this regard, we’ve got a feeling that the decision to keep the Week 17 Eagles-Cowboys game on FOX might have been influenced by the possibility that FOX won’t have the first-round playoff game featuring the Cowboys, assuming the Cowboys don’t secure a bye. (Keeping Eagles-Cowboys on FOX also provided an extra chunk of leverage in the ongoing cable battle between FOX and Time Warner.)
With one of the games on NBC being played in prime time, we think a big-name love ’em-or-hate ’em team will be playing on Saturday night, and that it’ll be either the Cowboys or the Patriots.