On Sunday, with the Eagles well ahead of the lifeless Broncos, coach Doug Pederson took out MVP candidate Carson Wentz and replaced him with backup quarterback Nick Foles.
Unfortunately, a large number of Eagles fans across the country were forced to watch Joe Flacco instead.
With 23 minutes remaining in the game and the Eagles up by 38-9, CBS announced it was switching away from the Eagles-Broncos game at most affiliates across the country. The nationally broadcast game was replaced with the “more competitive” Ravens-Titans matchup, which didn’t seem to please Birds fans across the country.
“CBS just cut away from the Eagles game to show me ‘a more competitive contest,’ ” complained former CBS Philly news anchor Chris May, currently an anchor at KATV News 7 in Arkansas.
Lol. CBS just cut away from the Eagles game to show me “a more competitive contest.”
— Chris May (@ChrisMayKATV) November 5, 2017
Some, like Football Outsiders’ Aaron Schatz, defended the move by CBS officials to switch the game, noting it had important playoff implications.
If your CBS affiliate just switched, BAL-TEN is the most important game of the week for playoff odds according to the FO simulation. https://t.co/o0I4vJC4Kw
— Aaron Schatz 🏈 (@FO_ASchatz) November 5, 2017
As the complaints from Birds fans across the country began to flood social media, the Eagles’ social media team weighed in.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) November 5, 2017
Of course, some Eagles fans were angry at CBS before the game even began. In central Pennsylvania, fans were forced to watch the Ravens-Titans game from the start because of an odd mix of NFL TV rules and the fact that the game happened to air on CBS instead of FOX.
The NFL requires WHP 21, the CBS affiliate based in Harrisburg, to air Baltimore Ravens games when the matchup is on the road or sold out at home. It’s a rule that’s also hurt Steelers fans, who have missed three games because of the league’s broadcast rule. In Week 5, WHP broadcast the 1995 action movie Desperado because it couldn’t air the Steelers-Jaguars game.
Fortunately for Birds fans, it was the last Eagles game CBS will broadcast this season. The rest of the season will be broadcast on FOX, ESPN and NBC. Three of the Eagles’ final seven games will air in prime time, including an important Sunday Night Football matchup against the 5-3 Cowboys on NBC on Nov. 19 after the Eagles’ bye next week.
Here’s the Eagles’ television schedule for the rest of the season, barring any changes if NBC decides to flex into any Eagles games for its Sunday Night Football broadcast. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, so the Eagles’ Week 17 matchup against the Cowboys seems a serious possibility, depending on how the rest of the season unfolds.
Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
Sunday, Nov. 19, 8:30 p.m. on NBC
Chicago Bears at Eagles
Sunday, Nov. 26, 1 p.m. on FOX
Eagles at Seattle Seahawks
Sunday, Dec. 3, 8:30 p.m. on NBC
Eagles at Los Angeles Rams
Sunday, Dec. 10, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Eagles at New York Giants
Sunday, Dec. 17, 1 p.m. on FOX
Oakland Raiders at Eagles
Monday, Dec. 25, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN
Dallas Cowboys at Eagles
Sunday, Dec. 31, 1 p.m. on FOX