TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Another football season is upon us, but read this before you start planning your watching parties.
There are 6 Cleveland Browns games that will not be televised on WTOL 11.
Those games are:
- September 16 @ New Orleans Saints - 1 p.m. (FOX rights)
- September 20 vs. New York Jets - 8:20 p.m. (NFL Network)
- September 30 @ Oakland Raiders - 4 p.m. (FOX rights)
- October 21 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 1 p.m. (FOX rights)
- November 11 vs. Atlanta Falcons - 1 p.m. (FOX rights)
- December 15 @ Baltimore Ravens - TBA (NFL Network)
The September 20 and December 15 games will be carried exclusively by the NFL Network. Otherwise, the games will not be broadcast locally at all because FOX as the rights to those games and FOX will be carrying the Detroit Lions.
We understand that this can be annoying and frustrating. However, local affiliates such as WTOL have little control over which games get aired when.
Due to blackout restrictions, a game can't be shown on a network directly against a game involving a team in their home market. This means the Browns won't be shown on FOX when the Detroit Lions are playing, as FOX is the Lions' home market and their games are broadcast on FOX.
The rules are decided between the NFL and the major networks which carry the games, such as FOX, CBS and the NFL Network. Local stations also have no say if these decisions are made on the fly.
WTOL also does not have any control over any in-game switches to other games; that is a network decision as well. According to The Times, a game switch can be made from a blowout without any local interest to a better game if a team has an 18 -point lead or more in the third quarter.
Local affiliates can make requests of CBS or FOX to switch the game they have been given for a certain week. However, CBS and FOX have the final say and can deny any requests made.
So, how can you watch the Browns for those 4 games they aren't locally shown, or 6 games for those who don't have NFL Network?
WTOL sports director Jordan Strack has some good suggestions for you:
If you or a friend don't have the NFL Sunday Ticket, there are local bars all over the area that do and will carry the game for you.
Some places include:
- Buffalo Wild Wings
- Sidelines Sports Eatery
- Doc Watson's
- Ye Olde Cock'n Bull
- Campus Quarters
- Backyard BBQ & Booze