Why People in Mississippi Have to Watch the Giants

Early Window

Week 11 is a doubleheader week for CBS, meaning it is showing games in both an early window (1 p.m., Eastern time) and a late window (4:25 p.m.). CBS and Fox have nine doubleheader weeks and eight singleheader weeks apiece throughout the season. When a network has a doubleheader the other network has a singleheader; the exception is Week 17, when they both have doubleheaders.

CBS generally broadcasts the American Football Conference, while Fox broadcasts the National Football Conference. When there are interconference matchups, like the Chiefs versus the Giants, the conference of the road team determines which network gets the broadcast. But some matchups are “cross-flexed” onto networks they wouldn’t normally be on.

In Week 11, this means the Buffalo at Los Angeles Chargers game — between two A.F.C. teams — is on Fox. Therefore, CBS has three games in the early window and two in the late window.

Kansas City at Giants

Kansas City at the Giants is the early-window game with the widest footprint, going to about 45 percent of the country. This game will be seen widely in the New York and Kansas City areas, as well as in New England and the areas of Kansas City’s A.F.C. West rivals. The game’s reach across the Mid-Atlantic will be constrained because Baltimore is playing at the same time.

East Rutherford, NJ


Kansas City at Giants (constant)

East Rutherford, N.J.


Kansas City at Giants (constant)

And what about that portion of Mississippi that will be served Chiefs-Giants? Giants quarterback Eli Manning starred at the University of Mississippi, and CBS believes that a lot of people in the state still want to watch him play.

Individual players are usually not important enough to dictate where a broadcast goes, but there are a few exceptions — mostly quarterbacks who are from, or who attended college in, places other than major metropolitan areas. Besides Manning, Carson Wentz (North Dakota State), Deshaun Watson (Clemson), Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville) and Marcus Mariota (born in Hawaii) are among the players who might influence a broadcast decision.

“J.J. Watt, as unbelievable of a player he is, is not changing our map,” Correa said. (Watt, who plays for the Houston Texans, is from Wisconsin and was a standout at the University of Wisconsin.)

Home Blackouts

Five cities, comprising about 9 percent of the country’s population, will not get any N.F.L. game at all on CBS at 1 p.m.: Minneapolis, Chicago, Houston, New Orleans and Miami.

The N.F.L. long maintained strict blackout rules to compel fans to fill stadiums; until 2014, games that were not sold out were not broadcast at all in their home markets. But those rules have all but withered away. The last important rule remaining is that no N.F.L. game can be broadcast opposite a home team in its primary market.

At 1 p.m. Sunday, the Vikings, the Bears, the Texans, the Saints and the Dolphins are all playing at home — those games will be broadcast on Fox — so CBS cannot broadcast a game in those areas. Similarly, Fox will not be broadcasting games in New York, Green Bay or Cleveland.

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