The moving game

Look for more late-afternoon Bears games – like it or not.

No, the Chicago Bears did not relocate to L.A. (the way they played this season, they could’ve joined the writers, who are also out on strike.) But the NFL and CBS moved the Denver Broncos-Chicago Bears game to 3:15 p.m. (CT) from its original noon time slot. This comes after NBC “flexed” the scheduled Bears-Seahawks game out of prime-time to air a New England Patriots-Buffalo Bills game on Nov. 18, with Bears-Seahawks moved to 3:15 on Fox.

In fact, the Bears are on the late doubleheader slot for the next four weeks with two of those games – Oakland (Nov. 11) and Seattle – on the West Coast, where start times for NFL games are at 1:00 (PT). On Dec. 2, they have a 3:15 home game with the New York Giants.

This comes despite the fact the Bears are having a less-than-stellar season this year.

The reason is simple: The Bears are in the nation’s third-largest market, have a national following, and other games on the docket those afternoons are even lamer. Plus, the Bears are not out of it yet – they still have a shot at a wild-card berth.

Plus, both CBS and Fox want stronger lead-ins to their Sunday night lineups, particularly in the largest markets, where the most viewers reside.

The teams that are doing well – New England, Indianapolis, Green Bay, and Dallas – have games airing on different days and different networks (namely NBC, ESPN and the NFL network.) For example, the Packers, Cowboys, and Colts all play on Thanksgiving this year.

The Bears have only five early (12:00 noon) starts on their 2007 schedule – the fewest in recent memory.

Also: In that same linked article, Dan Patrick’s new syndicated radio show has landed the 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. time slot on WSCR-AM, “The Score”.

updated 11:35 am on 2007-11-08