The biggest story in the NFL this season has focused on a second-year player who continues to find ways to win despite possessing a skill set that many football purists say is woefully lacking.
The player is the Denver Broncos’ Tim Tebow, who took over as the starting quarterback for a team that began the season 1-4 and has led them to an unlikely 6-1 record from that point on, putting Denver unexpectedly in contention for the playoffs.
The excitement around the polarizing Tebow was enough to convince NBC it wanted to scrap its scheduled “Sunday Night Football” game for Dec. 18 — between the San Diego Chargers and Baltimore Ravens — and move Tebow’s Broncos into the slot. Denver’s game against the New England Patriots was scheduled for earlier in the day on CBS.
CBS was eager to keep the game and both networks lobbied the NFL, USA Today reports. The league ultimately decided to leave the game at CBS.
NFL telecasts are big business for the league as well as the networks. The story notes that NFL game broadcasts have produced 22 of the 25 highest-rated shows of the fall season.
The league implemented flexible scheduling years ago, to maximize the exposure of the teams and contests that are most in demand as the season progresses.