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Why The Vikings/Bears Game Is On CBS and Not on FOX

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No need to get angry, man. . .we'll make sure you can find the game.
No need to get angry, man. . .we'll make sure you can find the game.
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Almost immediately after the Minnesota Vikings' 29-26 victory over the Washington Redskins in Week 9 of the NFL season, an announcement came out from the league that the game between the Vikings and the Chicago Bears in Week 11 would be moved from FOX to CBS.

This appears, on the surface, to be a fairly unusual move, as FOX is generally the network for NFC football. When there are interconference games, the coverage goes to the network that generally covers the road team (CBS for AFC games, FOX for NFC games). That rule was bent a couple of seasons ago when, at the height of Tebow-mania, the game that saw the Denver Broncos visit the Metrodome got moved from CBS to FOX. That move happened for largely the same reasons as the Vikings/Bears game has been moved. . .to give a particular game a greater area of coverage.

To wit, before the changes to the Week 11 schedule, here is what the early slate of games looked like on both networks:

FOX CBS
Seahawks at Chiefs Broncos at Rams
49ers at Giants Bengals at Bounty Hunters
Falcons at Panthers Texans at Browns
Buccaneers at Redskins
Eagles at Packers
Vikings at Bears

As you can see, FOX had significantly more games on their schedule than CBS had on theirs. So, rather than having to give the Vikings/Bears game to a comparatively smaller audience, the two networks decided to even things out so that more people can be exposed. . .a strangely appropriate word. . .to the Vikings/Bears game at Soldier Field. Using the rule that was passed this year, that's what they did. So now, the early slate of games looks like this:

FOX CBS
Seahawks at Chiefs Broncos at Rams
49ers at Giants Bengals at Bounty Hunters
Falcons at Panthers Texans at Browns
Buccaneers at Redskins Vikings at Bears

FOX also flexed the Eagles/Packers game into a later time slot, having it kick off at 3:25 PM Central time.

Hopefully that clarifies why this all-NFC matchup will have a slightly different look and feel to it, as it has been moved to the (usual) home of AFC football. Announcer pairings have not been announced for this one, but hey. . .at least we can be assured that Mike Goldberg won't be there, am I right?