For out of town Pats fans that donâ€™t subscribe to the Sunday Ticket, network coverage of week fourâ€™s game at Oakland is going to be a disappointment for many of you. While it is not quite as sparse as last week â€“ which is not saying much at all since it is almost impossible to get less coverage than there was in week three â€“ thereâ€™s not much improvement.
Only 27 stations outside of New England will broadcast the game between the Raiders and Patriots, despite the limited choices given that it is broadcast on the network that has the rights to this weekâ€™s doubleheader (CBS) and it is a late game. Interestingly many of those stations are the same ones that carried last weekâ€™s game, as it will be shown on eight stations in New York and five in Pennsylvania. Others carrying the game include those that usually follow the Raiders (eight stations in California and four in Oregon), along with one oddity: a station in Memphis, Tennessee. The announcers assigned to this game will be CBSâ€™ number five broadcast team, Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcotts.
Overall 148 CBS stations in the will broadcast the Broncos at Packers; 35 will show the Patriots at Raiders; 17 will air the Dolphins at Chargers; and two (Phoenix, Seattle) will be blacked out thanks to the NFLâ€™s archaic rule about not broadcasting another game when the local team is sold out and playing at home at the same time.
The early CBS game in New England and nearly everywhere else will be Pittsburgh at Houston, called by Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf.
The primary Fox game is Detroit at Dallas, an early game that is scheduled to be shown on WFXT in Boston. This is the first time in four years a Lions game not played on Thanksgiving gets the Fox #1 crew of Troy Aikman and Joe Buck.
The rest of New England once again gets force fed the New York Giants by Fox, who are playing at Arizona in a late game. The Lions-Cowboys should be a better game and the Giants play at the same time as the Pats, which makes that decision rather odd since Fox only gets to show one game this week.
One other trend that I am seeing is for the second straight year the CBS stations in the Tampa area are broadcasting Dolphins games every chance they get, rather than a more compelling national game. This decision-making is a noticeable shift from a few years ago. The rationale is that since so many Bucs games are blacked out due to their not selling out a home game since 2009 they will broadcast all the games of the next closest team in hopes fans will become familiar with that team, and tune into them on a weekly basis. Personally I think more fans are going to be inclined to watch the best available game; at the very minimum the strategy of attempting to convert fans in that area while perfectly legal is at the very least of questionable taste.
Here is a complete list of the stations that will be showing the Pats game at Oakland:
WAGM, Presque Isle
WCBS, New York
WREG, Memphis, Tennessee
KTVN, Reno, Nevada
KPIX, San Francisco
KCOY, Santa Maria
Also, none of the Canadian networks with the exception of SportsNet Ontario are broadcasting the Pats game; most will see Pittsburgh at Houston.
For visual representations of what games are on in your area, check out 506.com.