Wild-card weekend schedule remains undecided

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.

17 responses to “Wild-card weekend schedule remains undecided

  1. Really? Are there many people clammering to set their NFL game watching schedule 8 days in advance? Who are these people and why?

  2. Dont fox & cbs alternate the 1:00/4:30 games on wildcard sunday….they have lately….if so then fox gets 1:00 & cbs gets 4:00 wildcard sunday.
    just like divisional weekend will be:
    1/16/2010 4:30 pm fox
    1/16/2010 8:15 pm cbs
    1/17/2010 1:00 pm cbs
    1/17/2010 4:45 pm fox
    championship weekend will be:
    1/24/2010 3:00 pm cbs
    1/24/2010 6:30 pm fox
    until this rotation changes im goin with it.

  3. They are all national networks, I am assuming it is due to fox/time warner issues?
    Time warner will lose any leverage they have if they cut fox during playoffs, not very bright.

  4. If the Eagles/Cowboys game in week 17 were on NBC, it would make three weeks in a row where the Cowboys were on the prime time NBC schedule. And if you throw in the (very real) possibility of the Cowboys being on prime time NBC during wild card weekend, it would make FOUR weeks in a row.
    There is a limit on over-exposure, even for the Cowboys.

  5. you realize last years night games were
    s.d a 8-8 team and indy a wildcard team and arizona carolina I

  6. The Cowboys are America’s Team. They are the biggest draw in the NFL, if the NFL can get them on prime time…they will.

  7. Don’t forget the Vikings will have their one and done game on during Wild Card Weekend. It will be fun to watch. I wonder how Brett’s press conference will go?

  8. Don’t know what league rayg is watching, but the one I’ve been viewing has had Dallas on NBC [Washington], NFL Network [Saints], and CBS [Chargers] the last three weeks.
    The NFL is blowing smoke up people’s you know what’s if they are trying to convince us the networks don’t help set the playoff times.
    TV runs the show. Everybody know it. The tail has been wagging the dog for a long time.

  9. If the Cowboys play on Wildcard Weekend they will be a road team. And likely against Minnesota in a dome. Not really compelling when you have a potential matchup between this millenium’s America’s Team, the Patriots, playing outside and possibly against the New York Jets.
    That and Robert Kraft has built a model franchise and will have a national opportunity to reallyshow it off. He’s the most powerful and respected owner in the league. Look for him to get the nod.
    The Patriots, regardless of whatever happens, will be the Saturday night game. Write it down.

  10. I know you work for NBC but last year the saturday night games were anything but premiere matchups Sd who was 8-8 face the colts who were a wildcard and then in the divsional round it was carolina vs arizona. Fox/nbc pick their game and nbc cleans up the scraps. The only way the cowboys are not on fox is if you get farve bowl 3 because fox would than choose the farve bowl.

  11. 8man, just so you are clear on what could happen, Dallas could host a game on wildcard weekend.
    A Dallas win this week and either a Minn win or Ariz win will have Dallas hosting someone in the wildcard round Just so ya know.

  12. If the Jets beat the Bengals (who will lay down for them), they will have a rematch and NBC won’t want that one. While Baltimore-New England would be appealing, NBC will want Brett Favre whoever he plays against.

  13. “The prime targets will be the teams with national followings, like the Dallas Cowboys and the New England Patriots.”
    10 years ago, only one of those teams had a national following. The Dallas Cowboys.

  14. “There is a limit on over-exposure, even for the Cowboys.”
    No there isn’t. You’d watch, and NBC would enjoy huge ratings.

  15. Just watched Mike McCarthy’s press conference from earlier this morning. He said that he feels it’s likely that the Packers will play on Saturday

  16. Hmm. Wow. Didn’t know there was a scenario where the Cowboys could win the division and have to play on Wildcard Weekend.
    Oops. How could there not be a scenario that leads to that? I stand corrected, all is possible this weekend.
    Let me clarify by adding, I’m anticipating an Eagles win. But what the hell do I know?
    Patriots still play on Saturday night because they are the marquis team for that weekend and they will be at home, Foxboro and in the Boston TV market.

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