NFL rules required switch from Packers-Bengals game in some markets


Fox has taken plenty of flak for the fact that, in various markets, the network switched from the thrilling ending to the Packers-Bengals game to the start of the late-afternoon doubleheader games, Giants-Cowboys or 49ers-Cardinals. The truth is that FOX was simply following league rules.

Fox had no qualms about blaming the switch on the NFL. When Charissa Thompson presented the end of Packers-Bengals to the Giants-Cowboys audience, she mentioned NFL rules as the reason for not seeing it live.

As explained by Rodger Sherman of, the rule applies not only to the primary markets (New York, Dallas, San Francisco, Phoenix) but also to secondary markets, like Buffalo and Houston.

Several years ago, the NFL delayed the doubleheader window from 4:05 p.m. to 4:25 p.m. ET, for the express purpose of building in extra time so that fans can watch all of the early game before the late games begin. The easiest solution would be to use a split screen. And it usually takes a situation like this to get the NFL to start looking for solutions.

Another possibility would be to briefly delay the kickoff of the late game. In this case, it was just a minute or two. It would have been simple to implement a brief pause in the late-afternoon action.

The bottom line is that the NFL needs to have flexibility and creativity in these situations. Rules developed in the days of three channels and no Internet simply don’t make sense in today’s NFL.

18 responses to “NFL rules required switch from Packers-Bengals game in some markets

  1. the simple solution is to start broadcasting it back on Sunday Ticket, where it had been blacked out from. But that doesn’t happen.. customers paid to watch and didnt get to.. something it wrong with the system..

  2. Except it didn’t work that way the previous week, in which CBS subjected most of the country to the overtime of the Jets/Titans game, instead of cutting to the Packers/Steelers game. As a Packers fan living in the Minneapolis/St. Paul market, it was irritating as hell to miss the first half of the game last week, then equally bizarre to get to watch the overtime of the Packers game this week instead of cutting to the Cowboys/Giants game. There’s a distinction between flexibility and incoherence.

  3. Bull.. This “rule” wasn’t enforced the prior week when I missed the first quarter and well into the 2nd of the Packer – Steeler game and had to suffer through the Jets – Titans overtime snoozer

  4. I understand the obligation to switch – but when they switch, they go to commercials and then commentary. If you absolutely must switch per league rules, the switch should occur 0.0001 seconds before the kicker’s foot impacts the ball

  5. This has been happening since the 80s. I live in the Dallas market and several high profile dramatic early games were cut-off from our viewing with only seconds left to watch kickoff of horrible Cowboys teams.

  6. When there’s an overlap like that they should have the game available to watch on the NFL app

  7. The NFL puts a lot of effort into making sure games are hard to actually watch on TV. The blackout rules are bad enough, but the whole “secondary market” thing is really stupid. I live in Virginia. There are no Ravens fans here. None. There are barely any WFT fans here.

  8. I’d be in favor of cutting back and forth between games like CBS used to do when it was the only network airing March Madness – kind of like a mini NFL Redzone when the game you’re watching is going to have an exciting finish but they have to cut away.

  9. Why not make a qualitative decision? “Only following orders” is never a good excuse.

  10. All they needed to do was put a small window (like a quarter of the screen) showing the end of Packers game so that we could see it live while Giants and Cowboy fans could see the kickoff of that game. Everybody wins.

  11. The audience didn’t miss much.
    Just a Packers’ game winning kick and a small measure of redemption for Mason Crosby in the waning minutes of overtime.

    Not nearly as exciting as a QB and head coach nearly coming to blows on the Vikings sideline.
    The week to week dysfunction of this team is truly comical and is quickly becoming must-see tv.
    Get your 🍿 ready, this getting good. 😃

  12. cheeseisfattening says:
    October 11, 2021 at 1:26 pm
    Since when is bumbling football thrilling?

    I think they’re talking about two contending teams, both in first place in their respective divisions, going into overtime and each team having +50 yard field goals barely missing, before one team finally prevails. It’s definitely thrilling for a legitimate football fan. If not, perhaps you should stick with volleyball. It’s understandable for you to question something you have no familiarity with, as a Viking fan.

  13. I wouldn’t care so much, but they literally switched the game over for commercials. You can’t tell me that’s “per the rules” when the game hadn’t even started yet and we sat there for 3 minutes to watch commercials and missed the ending of the game. I’m in favor of keeping a box on the screen to show the previous game if they’re going to “have to switch.” It’s not fair that we already can’t watch the game on the ticket because the game is blacked out and on a local market, but to switch it over for commercials for the “game of the week” after forcing us to watch the entire OT of the Jets/Titans game from the week prior and miss the entire first quarter of the Packers/Steelers game, it’s safe to say something isn’t right here.

  14. Can’t thank the League enough for arbitrarily enforcing their rules.

    That Jets-Titans game was riveting………

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