Gregg Easterbrook, as usual, has lots of amusing notes in this week’s edition of Tuesday Morning Quarterback. In the midst of a long rant about weird NFL programming decisions, we get this:

Many cities did not see Carolina-Indy because the home team was playing at the same time on Fox. Did cities at least see the excellent Kansas City at Green Bay pairing — another overtime thriller, and which involved no network conflict? Most did not. In Washington, rather than show the excellent Kansas City at Green Bay pairing, to which it had the rights, local CBS affiliate WUSA showed: infomercials! Wait, isn’t there a NFL league-promotion spot in which Zach Thomas of the Dolphins declares that if it weren’t for pro football we would have to watch infomercials on Sunday? That’s what our nation’s capital saw on Sunday, infomercials, rather than the Kansas City at Green Bay overtime thriller.


I’ll spare readers repetition of TMQ’s grievance that the NFL stages fabulous games like Carolina at Indianapolis and Kansas City at Green Bay, then elaborately prevents people from seeing the fabulous games. The NFL prevents most Americans from seeing the best games by limiting NFL Sunday Ticket to the satellite monopoly DirecTV: which only 10 percent of American homes get, and huge numbers cannot receive for technical reasons. And I’ll spare readers repetition of TMQ’s grievance that, while access to the top games is elaborately denied to most Americans owing to the DirecTV monopoly, Canada and Mexico forbid such monopolies; there, anyone can order Sunday Ticket on cable. This means Canadians and Mexicans have far better opportunity to view the NFL than Americans.

No, I won’t repeat those complaints. But I will add — now even Iran gets better access to NFL games than Americans! Numerous readers including Diana Sophronia of Cyprus have flagged TMQ that Middle East TV, which broadcasts to Iran, Egypt, Turkey and other nations, has a much better track record of picking NFL games than do most U.S. local network affiliates. On Sunday, for example, the Middle East TV pro football doubleheader was Chiefs at Packers followed by Steelers at Broncos . That’s a far better Sunday card than was shown in New York, Los Angeles, Washington or most major American cities. Mullahs sipping Arabian coffee in Tehran got better viewing access to NFL games this Sunday than people living in the United States!

No wonder they’re in the Axis of Evil!

Cross-posted at SportsBlog

Although part of the DC market, I was able to catch the KC-Green Bay game via my handy dandy NFL Sunday Ticket.

FILED UNDER: Middle East, 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. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Paul says:

    The games available this year have truly sucked. Where once you had 4 games per Sunday afternoon to choose from, now you no choice at all.

    They show 2 games and that is it. Your home team is one game, no matter how bad they stink the place up, so you are left with one game of dubious value. It sucks.