December 07, 2011
CBS won an intense battle with NBC to keep Dec. 18's New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos game on its network for a 4:15 p.m. ET kickoff. The NFL and NBC had wanted to flex the game to Sunday night to replace the not-nearly-as-attractive Baltimore Ravens vs. San Diego Chargers game. That game will start in its regularly scheduled prime-time slot.
CBS had every right to want Saint Tim vs. Tom Terrific to stay on the network. The matchup of two of the greatest, and most handsome, talents the league has ever seen, will bring in astronomical ratings for whichever network has the game, and CBS felt it was its turn to get in on that Tebow action.
Last week, the network had to give up the Broncos vs. Vikings game to Fox after Fox was left with one fewer 1 p.m. ET game when its Lions vs. Saints matchup was flexed to Sunday night. With Tebow playing again on Fox this week because it's a home game against the NFC's Chicago Bears, CBS would have been Tebow-less for three straight Sundays. Tebow equals eyeballs and CBS felt it was only fair that it should get its turn to broadcast one of his big games to a national audience.
Peter King noted that CBS had a chance to protect the Broncos vs. Pats game weeks ago. At that point, the quarterback was a national punch line instead of a worldwide savior and CBS failed to sense the impeding Tebow revolution. In essence, CBS needed the NFL to save it from its own lack of foresight.
Now we're all stuck with Ravens-Chargers and some folks, particularly those in New York and Philadelphia, won't be able to watch Tebow vs. Brady at 4:15 because of other games. It's a travesty at any time, but pulling this move so close to Christmas makes it a freaking tragedy.
NBC does have an ace in the hole remaining. If When Tebow and the Broncos make the playoffs, the network should be first in line to show that game in its Saturday night wild-card slot. So don't fret, America. There's still a chance Timmy T will tuck you in for bed one night soon.
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