Due to NFL Rules . . .

After the Dallas-Washington game, FOX showed bonus coverage of the exciting Philadelphia-New York Giants game.  But, they warned us, “due to NFL rules,” they’d have to abruptly cut away at the quarter hour.

The quarter hour struck, naturally, at a critical juncture in a 31-31 game.  Curt Menefee comes back and says, deadpan, “We’d loved to have been able to show you the rest of the game but, due to NFL rules, we can’t.”


Now, I’ve got NFL Sunday Ticket and am therefore able to watch whichever games I please.  But it’s simply idiotic of the NFL not to allow some small leeway to their affiliates to show the closeout of tight games.  I understand that the networks alternate double headers and that going late on the early game takes away from the audience of the network with the second game.  But, come on, missing a few minutes of the first quarter isn’t a big deal.   Fans of one of the teams being shown on the other network will flip over, anyway.  And those who are simply NFL fans are being hosed by not getting to see the conclusion of exciting contests.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, Sports
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Dodd says:

    You’d think the Heidi game would have solved this problem when we were toddlers.

    One hopes the miracle in the Meadowlands II will do so.

  2. Al says:

    Between that and the blackout rules it’s like the NFL doesn’t want anyone to watch their games.

  3. Bob in Zion says:

    I still haven’t figured out why they don’t do like MLB, NBA and NHL and let you get games on cable via PPV. 80% of the country doesn’t have (or want) DirecTV, but they think that’s the best way to deliver all the games to all the fans.

  4. Dan says:

    Al, that’s an incomplete answer. What you intended to say was, “the NFL doesn’t want anyone to watch their games without first making a monetary contribution”. The NFL isn’t a fans league, they haven’t catered to the American public in many, many years. They are focused on the bottom line to the exclusion of entertainment to the masses, and I believe, that is going to bite them in the butt for a future fan base.

  5. Joshua says:

    Yeah, I hate it when networks do things like that. Do fans exist for the sake of the NFL or does the NFL exist for the sake of the fans? Obviously, with deals like the networks cutting away critical times in games, we have our answer. Then again, given that the G-Men lost after enjoying such an enormous lead, maybe it would have been better if I hadn’t seen it.

    I guess New York’s playoff hopes are all but gone now.

  6. @Dan: except that the NFL’s business model appears to be working quite nicely for them.

    What I don’t get is why my cable company (Charter) and the NFL can’t figure out a way for Charter to carry t the NFL Network and the Red Zone channel. I would happily pay for both, but I can’t because they can’t get their act together. And I can’t fathom why.

  7. In Memphis we got the full game. Maybe it has to do with the NFL’s ridiculous local market protection rules that also blackout double-headers when there’s a local home game.

  8. Steve Plunk says:

    What’s the NFL? Is that football? Go Ducks, beat Auburn! Football is for Saturdays.

  9. Trumwill says:

    I posted on this a while back when they pulled the same student with the New Orleans/Atlanta game. I am trying to get more into the NFL as of late and that really turned me back off of the league. They don’t pull this crap in college football. The only game I’ve seen interrupted was one that was delayed for two hours due to weather. That I can understand. Cutting a game on FOX away because CBS has exclusive rights to that timeslot, on the other hand, is lame.

  10. Andy says:

    My wife was particularly annoyed when the scheduled Browns – Bengals game was not aired because the Bengal’s game didn’t sell out tickets.

    I’m really happy with Dish Network, but I do have a certain temptation to switch to DirecTV simply to get NFL Sunday ticket.

  11. Bob Davis says:

    I yearn for the day I can switch off of DirecTV. But I can’t now…my addiction is too great. I MUST WATCH COWBOY GAMES here in Wisconsin!

  12. Trumwill says:

    I still haven’t figured out why they don’t do like MLB, NBA and NHL and let you get games on cable via PPV. 80% of the country doesn’t have (or want) DirecTV, but they think that’s the best way to deliver all the games to all the fans.

    Because DirecTV pays them extraordinary sums for it. I used to take calls for DirecTV and the NFL was a huge draw. I’m sure they’ve run the numbers. I would be sympathetic to the notion “and that’s their right” if they weren’t relying on the argument that the NFL is a public good for anti-trust exemptions and stadia construction.

    In addition to putting an end to the DirecTV excusivity, the NFL also needs to be forced to expand. Or they should lose their anti-trust protection.

  13. Ryan says:

    Dear Charter, all I want for Christmas is the NFL Network. Is that to much too ask for.