Sunday’s game against Washington may not look that interesting to most fans, but it is going to get far more television coverage than last week’s game against the Colts – which tumbled from being scheduled for prime time, to getting almost the least amount of distribution of any game last week.
So why the big difference? After all, the Redskins are not a much better team than the Colts, right?
There are two reasons for this. First of all this Sunday is a CBS doubleheader, so the Pats game is one of just four games that CBS affiliates have to choose from – as opposed to one of seven choices they had last week when FOX had the doubleheader. More importantly this is just one of two times that CBS gets to broadcast a Redskins game each year. Washington may not have a particularly exciting or competitive team, but they do own one of the top ten television markets in America, along with one of the most sizable fan bases. Net result is this game will be televised on 69 CBS television stations, which is a pretty good number when you consider the Pats’ opponent has a record of 4-8, one of the league’s most impotent offenses, and virtually no star power to attract viewers.
Announcers for this game will be Greg Gumbel and everybody’s favorite analyst, the ancient and honorable Dan Dierdorf. Other CBS games on at the same time are the Chiefs at the Jets, Texans at Bengals, and Colts at Ravens. Primary early game on FOX is New Orleans at Tennessee, and their main late game is Chicago at Denver. The late game on CBS on about 95% of their stations is Oakland at Green Bay.
Below is an initial list of the television markets which are scheduled to broadcast the Pats game. Keep in mind individual affiliates can request a change, so some stations could be either added or dropped between now and Sunday.
Alabama – all
Arkansas – all
Arizona – all
California – Los Angeles; Palm Springs
Florida – Gainesville; Orlando; Tallahassee; Tampa
Georgia – all
Illinois – Chicago; Peoria; Rock Island; Rockford
Louisiana – Baton Rouge; Lafayette; Monroe; New Orleans
Maine – all
Massachusetts – all
Michigan – all except for Detroit
Minnesota – all
Mississippi – all
North Carolina – all except for Charlotte
Oklahoma – all
Pennsylvania – Philadelphia
Rhode Island – all
South Carolina – Columbia; Florence; Spartanburg
Virginia – all
Vermont – all
Wisconsin – Green Bay; Milwaukee; Wausau
I’ll add a link to the television map once that is available later this week, along with any changes involving stations that added or dropped the Pats game.
edit: tv maps are up now; you can view them here. That late CBS game map is absurd. No changes as of yet, but it’s still early.
edit #2: A few updates:
Fargo, North Dakota has added the Pats game
and dropped the Chiefs-Jets game.
Philadelphia PA, Los Angeles CA, Palm Springs CA, St. Louis MO, and Cedar Rapids IA have dropped the Pats game
and will instead show the Chiefs-Jets game.