In a move that will be broadly cheered by NFL fans everywhere, the starting time for the late afternoon national game will be moved 10 minutes later this season.
The change from a 1:15 p.m. start to 1:25 p.m. start is being made to reduce the runovers of the 10 a.m. contests into the kickoffs of the afternoon games.
Fans have long complained about watching bonus coverage of an exciting finish to a 10 a.m. game only to be shifted to the kickoff of the second doubleheader game and miss the closing seconds. On two occasions last year, Raiders fans in the desert missed the conclusion of their game in order to join the kickoff of the San Diego Chargers game that CBS was obligated to show from beginning.
The regional 1:05 p.m. game that runs opposite the late national game will remain unchanged.
Here’s the official release from the NFL:
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 1:15 PM PT to 1:25 PM PT, the NFL announced today. The 1:05 PM PT kickoff time for games not on the doubleheader network will remain unchanged.
The 1:25 PM PT kickoff time will reduce instances in which fans miss the end of a 10 AM PT 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 1:25 PM PT 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.