The Chiefs and Broncos will be playing on Sunday night instead of Sunday afternoon because of the league’s rules regarding flexing games into prime time in order to maximize the television audience for the best matchups.
There will be more flexing to come in 2014. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the league will institute a new system of cross flexing games between networks. A game that was scheduled for an regional slot on CBS could be moved to a late afternoon national spot on FOX under the new system. That would have been an option with the Chiefs and Broncos this week as they were slated to play on a regional telecast and the only way to get the game on more screens was to move it to Sunday night.
Schefter reports that the network losing the game would get another one to replace it, but that the details on just how everything will work are still being hammered out.
It may not be the only change. In 2011, Roger Goodell said that the league would look into starting flex scheduling earlier in the season when the new television contracts went into effect in 2014.