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Rams Sell Out, Cowboys-49ers Bumped Off Air


For the first time in two years, a Ram home game has sold out, which means Sunday's meeting between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers, being billed as the NFL's game of the year, won't be televised in Los Angeles.

The Fox programming here Sunday afternoon will include professional wrestling, "Gilligan's Island" and "Three's Company."

But don't blame Fox. It's the NFL's doing.

Fox is bound by the league's television policies.

When the Raider-Ram sellout was announced Monday, that lifted the local blackout on a Ram home game for the first time since the team played the 49ers on Nov. 22, 1992.

NBC will televise Sunday's game at 1 p.m. That happens to be the starting time of the 49er-Cowboy game in San Francisco, a Fox telecast.

In accordance with NFL rules, Fox can't show a doubleheader in Los Angeles because the Rams are at home, and it can't show a 1 p.m. game because it can't go up against the Raider-Ram telecast.

That means Fox has to give Los Angeles a 10 a.m. game. So this market gets Chicago at Miami.

"Rules is rules, Gov," said David Hill, Fox sports president, in his English brogue. "There's nothing we can do about it."

Los Angeles isn't the only market being deprived of the Cowboy-49er matchup.

Because of those NFL rules, New York, Boston, Miami, Green Bay-Milwaukee and New Orleans also can't get the game--except, of course, on a satellite dish system.

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