The kickoff time for Sunday late afternoon doubleheader games on CBS and FOX will be moved from 3:15 PM CT to 3:25 PM CT, the NFL and the New Orleans Saints announced today. The 3:05 PM ET kickoff time for games not on the doubleheader network will remain unchanged.
The 3:25 PM CT kickoff time will reduce instances in which fans miss the end of a 12:00 PM CT game telecast because they must receive the opening kickoff of their home team's late-afternoon game. In addition, fans not in the cities of the late doubleheader opponents will be less likely to miss the beginning of the late doubleheader game.
In researching the kickoff time shift, the NFL analyzed games from the 2009-11 seasons and found that 44 games required part of the audience to be switched to a mandatory doubleheader game kickoff. With a 3:25 PM CT kickoff time, that number that would have been reduced by 66 percent to only 15 games.
Approximately 40 games over the full 2012 season will be impacted by the 10-minute kickoff time shift – with half of those moves coming in games played in Mountain or Pacific time zones with 1:25 PM or 2:25 PM local starts.
The following 2012 New Orleans Saints games will be affected by today's announcement:
Sunday, September 30---at Green Bay Packers (FOX)
*Sunday, November 25---San Francisco 49ers (FOX) **Mercedes-Benz Superdome
*Sunday, December 9---at New York Giants (FOX)
The kickoff time change could also impact the Saints' Week 16 and Week 17 games which are scheduled for 12 Noon CT and are on the doubleheader network those weeks (FOX in both cases). All Sunday games in Weeks 11-17 are subject to flexible scheduling.