While NFL owners don’t support a proposal to change the overtime rules, they have made some other changes during the league meetings being held this week in Florida.
Both have to do with game broadcasts.
Single-header rule dropped
The more welcome change will likely be the decision to drop the “single-header rule.”
As explained by Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal, that means that all broadcast markets will get at least three games in the Sunday windows.
So if, for example, you’re a Miami Dolphins fan living in Dallas and both the Dolphins and Cowboys are playing at 1 p.m. ET on CBS and Fox, you’ll get to see both games.
In the past, the Dolphins game would have been blacked out in the Dallas market.
This is a boon for fans who don’t want to shell out for Sunday Ticket and DirecTV, and those who live in markets that have multiple teams, like greater Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, New York or the Bay Area.
Change to divisional round start times
The team owners also voted to change the start times of the Sunday divisional round games.
They will now kickoff at 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. ET, instead of the previous 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. ET slots.
A 1 p.m. ET kickoff essentially made it impossible to put a game with a West Coast home team in that window because it is just too early. This change allows the league greater flexibility in scheduling the four games.
The two Saturday divisional round games begin at 4:30 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. ET.
Fewer commercial breaks in Super Bowl
NFL owners also announced something that had been reported earlier this month: Super Bowl LIV, to be broadcast on Fox, will have four commercial breaks per quarter, down from five per quarter in recent years.
The breaks will be 30 seconds longer, but it will be a negligible difference for players and viewers.
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