December 06, 2011
The Week 15 Sunday night NBC game is currently scheduled to be the Baltimore Ravens against the San Diego Chargers. NBC, despite the fact that the Chargers were so dazzlingly brilliant on Monday night, would like to exercise its flex scheduling option and show something else.
In this case, that something else is the New England Patriots vs. the Denver Broncos, or, as it will be hyped endlessly by NBC in the event that it get its paws on it, Tom Brady(notes) vs. Tim Tebow(notes). The Golden Boy vs. The Chosen One is currently slated to air on CBS at 4:15 p.m. ET. NBC wants to yank it out of there. Mike Klis of the Denver Post reports that there's some conflict there.
NBC's contract with the NFL gives the partners a "flex" schedule to switch to a more compelling game than the one originally scheduled for prime time.
CBS, which has the game in its afternoon slot, has been fighting the move, as has Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
I'm not sure what they're fighting about -- there are clear-cut rules for how this works. NBC can indeed swap its game for another game, but only after Fox and CBS have both chosen to "protect" one of their games, which essentially says to NBC, "Hey, hands off, bucko."
So either CBS protected the Broncos vs. Patriots game or it didn't. The decisions on which games to protect had to be made months ago (pre-Tebow), so it probably didn't. Whether or not there's some wiggle room to that, or CBS is allowed to change its mind, I don't know. My guess is that Robert Kraft can have considerable influence over anything he wants to influence.
[Related: Bill Cosby is a Tim Tebow fan]
We'll see how this plays out. Tim Tebow on CBS? Tim Tebow on NBC? Neither. You know why? Because Tim Tebow lives in our hearts.
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