TOLEDO (WTOL) - Sunday’s 1 p.m. Cleveland Browns vs. Atlanta Falcons game will not be broadcast on WTOL or Fox 36.

The game will not be broadcast locally Sunday because FOX has the rights to this game this week and FOX will be carrying the Detroit Lions, because Detroit is geographically closer to Toledo than Cleveland is.

Also, on December 15, the Browns’ road game against @ Baltimore Ravens will not be televised on WTOL.

This game will be carried exclusively by the NFL Network.

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.

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 games that aren't locally shown, or for games on NFL Network if you don’t have it?

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
  • Frickers
  • Sidelines Sports Eatery
  • Doc Watson's
  • Ye Olde Cock'n Bull
  • Campus Quarters
  • Backyard BBQ & Booze
  • Ralphie's
  • Lenny's
  • Jed’s