The NFL made a wise choice, catering to the television audiences and particularly those who purchase products like the DirecTV Sunday Ticket. According to John Ourand of Sports Business Daily, the NFL is moving back kickoff times from its 4:15 Eastern Time late afternoon games to 4:25, to reduce conflicts with the finishes of 1 pm games.
I had complained about this in the past, but I can assure you that this 10 minute move took some wrangling, particularly with NBC and its Sunday Night Football programming. A 10 minute move back means 10 more potential minutes into the Sunday Night pre-game.
The league is not moving the non-double header late afternoon games that went to local markets and started at 4:05 Eastern Time. However, with up to 10 early afternoon games, anyone who has tried to watch games on the Sunday Ticket package knows that at least one game is invariably an exciting finish and extends past 4:15. It seemed like a virtual certainty every week that I would miss a large chunk of the first quarter of the featured late game while an exciting finish occurred. With the new overtime rules going to the regular season, and the five minute explanation by the referees, more overlap was going to be inevitable. Now, there will be a little more time to watch the end of the best finish of the day and still catch the next game. First world problems, indeed, but an excellent implementation by the NFL.
[photo via US Presswire]