I did this last season and received such a positive response that I’m doing an update for 2013/2014. Once again I’ll use my own home team, San Diego Chargers, as a reference point. The results should be typical for most major markets that receive all the big broadcast networks over the air.
Chargers Preseason W: 4 L:0
This is better than last year. All four of the games are on either local CBS channel 8 KFMB or KUSI 51. But Chargers fans in Los Angeles relying strictly on Time Warner Cable might be out of luck if CBS and TWC don’t resolve their dispute.
Chargers Regular Season W: 13 L:3
We will miss three of these games. Monday night games Sep 9 and Oct 14 are ESPN exclusives. And Thursday Dec 12 at Broncos is on the NFL Network. This is a rebuilding year for Chargers by the way, and unless they do great expect another blackout or two. Maybe Chargers will give us a good deal on some of those tickets.
All NFL Post Season W: 11 L:0
The 2013 post season TV schedule is not yet available, but looking at what happened in the 2012/2013 season we can hope that once again all games show up on either CBS, FOX or NBC.
All NFL Games W: 86 L: 170
Using this handy 2013 schedule on ESPN I count 17 Monday night games on ESPN and 13 Thursday games on NFL Network – we’ll miss all of those. But how many total games can we catch over the air?
Using basic NFL math I assume 256 games in a season: 32 teams = 16 match-ups x 16 games. Let’s take week 2 as typical. CBS and FOX appear to be broadcasting one early and one late game each. NBC gets Sunday Night Football. That’s a total of 5 games x 17 weeks = 85 games seen plus the Thursday night opener (NBC instead of NFL) for 86.
What About NFL Sunday Ticket?
If you are a die-hard fantasy football fan* you will miss a lot of games. Last year the big questions was about getting NFL Sunday Ticket on Playstation. This year is better because it’s cheaper and easier to access via mobile devices. See NFL on Roku?
If you care mostly for you local team you’ll miss just a few thanks to ESPN and the NFL Network. If you are more serious than that consider getting the special NFL Sunday Ticket package.
This is my first year personally venturing into Fantasy Football. I’m considering setting up a Cord Cutter Fantasy Football League for the 2014/2015 season. Let me know in the comments if you’d be interested.