For example, during Week 17 of the 1994 season, their last respective home games in Los Angeles, both the Washington Redskins at Rams game and the Kansas City Chiefs at Raiders game were played at 1 p.m. PT.

In addition, a "flexible scheduling" policy allows the league to reschedule Sunday afternoon and night games to different time slots and/or re-assign them to different networks regardless of conference (Monday and Thursday Night games are not subject to this policy and must be played at the same time and on the same network as originally scheduled).

The Seattle Seahawks did not appear on NBC in their inaugural season of 1976, nor did the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1977, despite neither playing a single prime time game.
The NFL, along with boxing and professional wrestling (before the latter publicly became known as a staged sport), was a pioneer of sports broadcasting during a time when baseball and college football were more popular than professional football.

The equivalent on Fox’s “Thursday Night Football” came to $496,232, with the average 30-second spot costing an average of nearly $461,345 for Fox’s Sunday afternoon games; nearly $353,911 for CBS’ Sunday football games; and nearly $277,605 for ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”. On occasion, both of a team's home interconference games are played in prime time, depriving the opposite conference's network of any games involving the team. Additional affiliates, including secondary affiliates for home games, may also request to pull out of an early game for a nearby team's late start. Since 2013, ESPN has done some limited counterprogramming using Canadian Football League coverage from sister network and licensing partner TSN; in most cases, ESPN carries games in times when the NFL is not airing (except in cases, such as the Grey Cup, when a conflict is unavoidable).

No consensus was achieved on whether or not such an expansion would be viable, as travel and lodging reservations are set in advance and would require visiting teams to book hotels for an extra day because of the uncertainty such a flex option would entail. There’s more than a bunch of football games at stake as the National Football League gets set to kick off its 2020 season Thursday night. These are televised under a special "flexible schedule" that allows Sunday afternoon games to be moved to prime-time beginning with Week 5 of the season.
Furthermore, the NFL is the only network that imposes an anti-siphoning rule in all teams' local markets; The NFL sells syndication rights of each team's Thursday and Monday night games to a local over-the-air station in each local market. Because Washington D.C. is an official secondary market for the Ravens but Baltimore is not an official secondary market for Washington, most cases involve a Ravens away game being aired in D.C. opposite a Washington home game. Overtimes in the postseason are treated as if a new game has started, meaning most of the regular season commercial break rules are followed. However, the removal of these rules are, to an extent, purely symbolic; the NFL can still enforce its blackout policies on a contractual basis with television networks, stations, and service providers – a process made feasible by the large amount of leverage the league places on its media partners. for $15 Billion", "NFL announces extension of DirecTV Sunday Ticket deal", "NFL Network's 10-Year Gains: 13 Games and 72 Million Homes", "How NFL Net is winning where others aren't", "Simulcasting, higher fees lead to $1.5 billion for NFL Network", "With Latest Network Agreements, the N.F.L. [94] These restrictions also apply to any hotels that contain casinos, even if the casino is not mentioned in the ad. Super Bowl LI for Fox featured Spanish audio exclusive to Fox Deportes, without a SAP component over-the-air. As a result, Arizona is aligned with Pacific Daylight Time from the second Sunday in March until the first Sunday of November. [61][62], Ultimately, no games would be blacked out at all during the 2014 season. In recent years, the ABC O&Os have passed on airing the game, opting instead to air the network's Monday night schedule which includes the successful Dancing with the Stars. The NFL owns NFL Films, whose duties include providing game film to media outlets for highlights shows after a 2- to 3-day window during which outlets can use original game broadcast highlights.

In 1989, the NFL tried another Christmas Day game, with the Cincinnati Bengals hosted by the Minnesota Vikings, but it was a 9:00 p.m. The first NFL games played on December 25 came during the 1971 season.

[51][52] Fox also committed to airing at least two of its League Championship Series games, as well as any Game 7, on the broadcast network beginning in 2019; it had been criticized for airing only Game 2 of the 2018 National League Championship Series, while placing the rest on Fox Sports 1. Fox aired select races from 2007 to 2012. Prior to the 2000 season, doubleheader rules were much more restrictive.

Until the broadcast contract ended in 2013, the terrestrial television networks CBS, NBC, and Fox, as well as cable television's ESPN, paid a combined total of US$20.4 billion[10] to broadcast NFL games. The 2016 Arizona Cardinals, 2018 Detroit Lions and 2019 New Orleans Saints, all NFC teams, also had both their home interconference games in prime time, but aired once on CBS regardless: the Cardinals appeared on Thursday Night Football in Week 5 at the San Francisco 49ers, and the Lions appeared in their traditional Thanksgiving Day game against the Chicago Bears.

ESPN attempted to run a dramatic series showing steamier aspects of pro football, Playmakers, but canceled the series after the league reportedly threatened to exclude the network from the next set of TV contracts. The television rights to broadcast National Football League (NFL) games are the most lucrative and expensive rights of any American sport. [99] Most teams insert similar clauses into their radio contracts, which are locally negotiated. The referee declares it a "two-minute timeout.". The Cowboys and Detroit Lions were ineligible for appearing on the NFL Network, due to hosting Thanksgiving games every year. In 2013, the WNBA and ESPN signed a six-year extension on the broadcast deal to cover 2017–2022.

Games that do not sell out at least 72 hours prior to kickoff are subject to local blackout in the primary and all secondary markets. This allowed the Raiders to host the Seahawks on that day, marking the first time the 49ers played on CBS and the Raiders played on Fox on the same day, though the Raiders game was blacked out locally.

[27], Due to the "Heidi Game", a primary media market must show its local team's game in its entirety and secondary markets usually follow suit for away games. The network broadcasting the single game will sometimes show each play as soon as it ends as part of its post-game show.

[12], For the 2020 NFL season, two extra wild card playoff games are being added to the schedule; CBS and NBC acquired rights to these new games, with both paying roughly $70 million each. However, the single-game network usually schedules most of its top games in the early 1:00 ET time slot (except for west coast teams' home games, and possibly either a Giants or Jets game), so this does not tend to be a major issue.

On the other hand, CBS rarely airs any post-game show after its doubleheaders or 4:05 single-games.

The first two games of the Divisional Playoff Round that year were held on Christmas Day.

Sports USA has national radio rights to regular season Sunday afternoon doubleheaders sublicensed from Dial Global. WGN, then a Chicago-based superstation, broadcast a limited number of Chicago Bulls regular season games on their national feed until 2014, fewer than they provided locally.

On September 9, 2014, USA Today published an editorial from FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, who stated that "sports blackout rules are obsolete and have to go", and that he was submitting a proposal to "get rid of the FCC's blackout rules once and for all", to be voted on by the agency's members on September 30 of that year. English and French-language rights; CAF qualification matches for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, English-language rights for 2019 and 2023, Spanish-language rights for 2019 and 2023, English-language rights to Euro 2020 qualifying and finals, Spanish-language rights to Euro 2020 qualifying and finals, Spanish-language rights through 2024; 97 matches shown on TV, Spanish-language rights through 2024; 70 live matches across TUDN, UniMás and Galavisión.

The commercialization of TV rights represents the highest value of the profit and loss account for the top European football clubs and leagues.

During odd years, Dallas hosts an AFC team and Detroit plays an NFC opponent (usually another NFC North team, and often the Green Bay Packers, who draw high TV ratings). Games in the first round of the playoffs can be aired by regional broadcasters, unless the national broadcaster has exclusive rights.

For this reason, if two teams share a primary media market, their games are never scheduled on the same network on the same day (unless they play each other).

Typically, the team's flagship station for the preseason games will hold such rights, as teams will usually sell the preseason, local ESPN, and if the CBS affiliate in that market declines the option, the NFL Network games as one package. This station does not need to have affiliate connections with a national broadcaster of NFL games, though owned-and-operated stations of ABC and Hearst Television (even those Hearst stations not affiliated with ABC, and including their one independent station in the Tampa-St. Petersburg market) have first right of refusal due to both ESPN and ABC's common ownership by The Walt Disney Company (Hearst holds a 20% stake in ESPN). The NFL regular season begins in the second weekend in September (the weekend after Labor Day in the United States) and ends in late December or early January. [57], In the 2020 offseason, the NFL queried its teams on the possibility of expanding flexible scheduling to Monday Night Football. The NFL has a strict policy prohibiting networks from running ads during official NFL programming (pre- and post-game studio shows and the games themselves) from the gambling industry, and has rejected some ads from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. [22] Under the current television contracts, which began during the 2014 season, regular season games are broadcast on five networks: CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN, and the NFL Network. (The team is actually two markets for the NFL policy; Milwaukee is the other primary market for the team.)

Under its.

If the CBS affiliate opts out of the deal, the NFL will offer the package by syndication, typically with the Monday Night package. [2], Among these TV contracts, NBC holds a $7.75 billion contract, signed in 2014, to air the Olympics through the 2032 games,[3] making it a major source of revenue for the International Olympic Committee.

If the said affiliate declines the game, the NFL will sell syndication rights to the games in the respective markets in a bidding process each year. In 2019, the average cost of a 30-second ad on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was $608,625, according to Standard Media Index, a tracker of ad spending. One of the people familiar with talks suggests parties may explore the idea of trying to place “Thursday Night Football” on ESPN, but notes such a move would not be a fait accompli. If a team calls a timeout, the referee will declare it a "30-second timeout." However, game times are generally advertised simply as 1 p.m. starts.

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