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NFL Shifts Time by 10 Minutes for Doubleheader Games

The NFL schedule has been pretty standard for the afternoon games in recent years. Today, the league announced a slight adjustment that will push start times ten minutes later for doubleheader games that were originally scheduled to begin at 4:15 PM.

For example, in the past, there would be games that started at either 1:00 PM, 4:05 PM, or 4:15 PM. The two television networks that show these games are CBS and FOX. The networks typically alternate each week when it comes to deciding who gets to show doubleheader action. Previously, the network with doubleheader rights would air those games at 4:15 PM. Now, those games will begin at 4:25 PM. This only affects one Browns game (subject to change), which is the Browns vs. Raiders game in Week 13.

What is the purpose of this change? Let's take a look at Week 13, and let's assume that you also enjoy watching football games that do not feature the Browns. One of the early games that week (with a 1:00 PM start time) on CBS is the Colts vs. the Lions. Let's assume that you decided to watch because the game features Andrew Luck vs. Matthew Stafford. The game ends up being very exciting, and at 4:15 PM, there Colts are running the two-minute drill to try to win the game. Since the Browns play at that time, CBS would switch to our game. In the new scenario, there is more breathing room for fans who started watching that early game to see its conclusion.

I don't mind the move right now, although it also means that some of the games will finish later, at a time when I am used to already watching the pregame show for Football Night in America on NBC.