The NFL announced today that the kickoff time for Sunday late afternoon doubleheader games on CBS and FOX will be moved from 4:15 p.m. ET to 4:25 p.m. ET. The 4:05 p.m. ET kickoff time for games not on the doubleheader network will remain unchanged.
This affects two Patriots games, which will now be 4:25 p.m. kickoffs:
Sunday, Oct. 7 -- vs. Denver (at Gillette Stadium)
Sunday, Oct. 21 -- vs. Jets (at Gillette Stadium)
As explained by the NFL, the 4:25 p.m. kickoff time will reduce instances in which fans miss the end of a 1:00 p.m. 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 4:25 p.m. 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.