According to John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, the NFL is bumping the start of late afternoon games back to 4:25, back from the normal 4:15 start time.
The NFL is moving its 4:15pm Sunday kickoffs to 4:25pm to reduce overlap with the 1pm games. See SportsBusiness Daily for more details.
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) June 28, 2012
There’s no word on exactly why the change is being made, but the move makes a lot of sense to me. Here’s a scenario. You’re watching an out-of-market game, waiting on the start of your in-market game. The game you’re watching is a nail biter. The Patriots are mounting a last minute drive in a mad attempt to beat the New York Jets in New York. The crowd is going crazy, and there’s only 47 seconds left. Then, inexplicably, the network (because you’re too cheap for NFL Sunday Ticket) switches to the start of your in-market game. It’s a scenario that happens all too often, and the NFL may be trying to prevent it.
Yes, there will still be an occasional early game that runs long and still overlaps with some of the late afternoon games, but with the extra ten minutes, games should transition from the early games to the late games, with little or no overlap.
The real question here is, what will you do with your extra ten minutes between the end of early games and the beginning of late games? Personally, I’ll be hitting up the restroom, grabbing snacks (after washing my hands of course), and switching seats on the couch. The move isn’t going to change fans’ game day experience much, but it may let us catch the tail end of some great games instead of catching the opening kickoff of the late games. Overall, it’s a solid move by the league.