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NFL pushes start time for many late games even later

June 28, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • Peyton Manning will be working later.
Peyton Manning will be working later. (Getty Images )

Looking to avoid overlap with its early games, the National Football League is going to push the start time on many of its Sunday afternoon late games from 4:15 p.m. to 4:25 p.m.

Though that will make life easier for football fans, it will create headaches for many East Coast and Midwest viewers of shows such as CBS' "The Good Wife" and "60 Minutes" and Fox's "The Simpsons": The later the start time for football, the longer the delay for prime-time programming. Football games typically run more than three hours.

Games that will have the later start will be determined by which network is airing two games on a given Sunday. Typically, Fox and CBS rotate weekends when one network has both an early and late game, although on occasion both have so-called "doubleheaders."

The NFL said about 40 games will be moved to the late start time as a result of the policy change.

On the one hand, having NFL games bleed into prime time can boost ratings. However, many viewers get frustrated at having to stay up later because the start time of prime-time shows has been delayed by anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.

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