The NFL announced yesterday that they would be moving the time of their late Sunday kickoff games from 4:15 ET to 4:25 ET. The move was enacted to allow viewers to watch 1 PM games to completion, as opposed to being dragged away from the game at critical moments near the end in order to watch the beginning of their local game.
The NFL did a little research and found that of the early games that were affected by the 4:15 cutoff, 66% would NOT be affected by the new kickoff time for the late games. This is good news for nearly everyone, especially those of us who don't have NFL Sunday Ticket or the RedZone network. If you're one of those people, and the early game goes into overtime...you'd essentially be screwed at watching the end, because if there was a doubleheader, you'd get cut off from watching around 4:10 or so.
One possible impact this could have is on Football Night in America on NBC, prior to Sunday Night Football. With the late games starting ten minutes later, that's ten minutes later in the show that their highlights have to come. Combined with hyping the game of the night, as well as the full slate of early games, some late afternoon games might not be featured in the nightly highlights...just because NBC doesn't have enough time to cut highlights for later games. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out, and if it's actually an issue at all.
The Ryan Seacrest move is terrible, but could this be the beginning of the end for Universal Sports Network? The US Olympic trials have been USN's pride and joy for the past 4 Olympics, and now they will get 0 coverage. Most of their live coverage now has been rugby and soccer, and they are slowly moving most of that over to NBC Sports Network as well. I seriously doubt NBC Comcast needs Universal if NBC Sports Network is going to be their all sports net, so this could be the beginning of the end for USN (much like Mtn.).