Even in the offseason we're still football crazy, and some news has leaked out that will adjust how we watch the NFL. Most recently, the Wall Street Journal reports the league has officially relaxed local blackout requirements, which reduces the chance broadcasts are turned off in a team's home area if they don't sell enough tickets. The new rules passed by team owners allow for local broadcasts even with ticket sales at just 85 percent, and while each team can set its own minimum, if it sells more tickets it will have to share more of the revenue with other clubs. Plans to get more fans in the stadium include free WiFi, plus mobile apps (those may cost) with game highlights and the ability to listen in on the sound from field level.
Another change affects doubleheaders, as Fox and CBS will now start their second game ten minutes later than last year at 4:25 PM ET, hopefully avoiding interference with the end of earlier games. Finally, the league has revealed its NFL Game Rewind online replay package (available on Android and iOS tablets for the first time this year) will expand to offer previously restricted angles with its coaches Film feature. Now fans can see the game tape coaches use to evaluate their teams with the "eye in the sky" All-22 view that shows all of the players and end zone cameras. We'll see if a different viewpoint makes callers into sports talk radio any more knowledgeable about the game, but that seems doubtful.
NFL shifts CBS & FOX late doubleheader kickoff times to ensure more football for fans
4:25 PM ET Kickoff Time Reduces Overlap With 1:00 PM Games
The kickoff time for Sunday late afternoon doubleheader games on CBS and FOX will be moved from 4:15 PM ET to 4:25 PM ET, the NFL announced today. The 4:05 PM ET kickoff time for games not on the doubleheader network will remain unchanged.
The 4:25 PM ET kickoff time will reduce instances in which fans miss the end of a 1:00 PM ET game telecast because they must receive the opening kickoff of their home team's late-afternoon game. In addition, fans not in the cities of the late doubleheader opponents will be less likely to miss the beginning of the late doubleheader game.
In researching the kickoff time shift, the NFL analyzed games from the 2009-11 seasons and found that 44 games required part of the audience to be switched to a mandatory doubleheader game kickoff. With a 4:25 PM ET kickoff time, that number that would have been reduced by 66 percent to only 15 games.
Approximately 40 games over the full 2012 season will be impacted by the 10-minute kickoff time shift – with half of those moves coming in games played in Mountain or Pacific time zones with 1:25 PM or 2:25 PM local starts.