How do we decide which NFL games to air?

We often get questions about which NFL games air on FOX 13, and why we may or may not be airing a particular game -- or any game at all.  The NFL's broadcast rules are very complicated and most of these decisions are made well before the season begins, but here's a quick summary.

NFC matchups generally air on FOX, while AFC matchups generally air on CBS.  The visiting team determines the network, so if an AFC team plays at an NFC team, that game would normally air on CBS.  An NFC team playing at an AFC team usually airs on FOX.

FOX and CBS each have a certain number of doubleheader Sundays throughout the season.  So some weeks, FOX 13 will air two games.  Other weeks, we can only air one.

Because the Buccaneers are our local team, we are obligated to air their games, even if another matchup appears more compelling.

Stations are not allowed to air another game against a local team's home game.  So if a Bucs home game is airing on CBS, we cannot air a different game in that time period -- even if it's supposed to be a FOX doubleheader weekend.  NOTE: In 2016, this is the case on October 2 and October 30.

If there is no local game conflict, we'll air the game that FOX Sports decides is of the highest interest to our market.

If you’d like to read more about the NFL broadcast rules, we suggest you click over to the Wikipedia article.

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