SBD/December 8, 2011/Media

NFL Decides Not To Flex Patriots-Broncos Game To Sunday Night Slot

Kraft reportedly fought to keep game on CBS in part so Pats would arrive home earlier
The NFL decided yesterday not to move the Dec. 18 Patriots-Broncos game from CBS to NBC, and the Ravens-Chargers matchup "will remain the Sunday Night Football game for next Sunday," according to Shalise Manza Young of the BOSTON GLOBE. A decision usually is made 12 days "before the game on whether it will be flexed, but after a good deal of debate the NFL decided to extend the deadline for a decision" to yesterday afternoon. Patriots Owner Robert Kraft "was fighting to keep the game on CBS" in part so the team would arrive home earlier in preparation for playing on a short week before its Dec. 24 game against the Dolphins (BOSTON.com, 12/7). But SI's Peter King reported Kraft "did not strongarm this game to stay off Sunday night" (TWITTER.com, 12/7). In N.Y., Richard Sandomir reported CBS wanted to keep the game "for the appeal of Tim Tebow," and NBC eyed the game "for the same reasons." CBS protected Jets-Eagles instead of Patriots-Broncos, but the choice "was made much earlier in the season before Tebow had become an unlikely option-running phenomenon" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/8). On Long Island, Neil Best noted the flex schedule system "is designed to avoid stinkers on NBC, not necessarily give NBC the best game available." Best: "Ravens-Chargers is not a great matchup, but it sure beats some of the junk ESPN has been stuck with on Monday nights" (NEWSDAY, 12/8).

YOU BELONG IN THE CITY: ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky reported some a spot used during ESPN's "Monday Night Countdown" prior to Chargers-Jaguars Monday night this week included "one of the Charlotte skyline and at least one scenic shot of Jacksonville that was outdated." An ESPN spokesperson said, "The Charlotte aerial was an inadvertent mistake. It should not have aired. We apologize that it was part of the telecast. The scenics of Jacksonville that were used during 'Monday Night Countdown' were shot the night of the previous MNF game there in late October. We did not have a crew shooting scenics Monday. There were no graphic or audio mentions indicating the shot was live, though we understand viewers may have been under this assumption” (ESPN.com, 12/6).
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