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Why isn't there a darn football game on?

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - We get it. We want to watch football, too.

But that's not a decision WANE-TV gets to make.

Games and their channel assignments are determined by the NFL and various TV networks in contracts worth billions of dollars.

WANE-TV, an affiliate of CBS, usually airs games with AFC teams - or whatever the network gives us.

But how does that work?

CBS has the rights to AFC games and FOX has rights to NFC games. But the visiting team determines which network gets the game. So, if the Colts are hosting an AFC team it will usually air on WANE-TV (unless, of course, it's a national game which may appear on ESPN, NFL Network, or NBC). But if the Colts are hosting an NFC team the game will not air on CBS.

If the Colts don't have a CBS game, the network will decide which game to air on WANE-TV. They usually try and pick teams with a regional interest or a team with a greater national following (i.e. Patriots, Packers or Steelers). WANE-TV has a very limited say in which game will air.

The only monkey wrench in that whole explanation is if games get flexed (or traded) by the networks. Better match-ups sometimes get moved to later time slots or even primetime.

The other monkey wrench is when the Bears and Colts are both scheduled for CBS at 1 p.m. The Colts will get priority because Fort Wayne is considered a secondary market for Indianapolis. Fort Wayne is not considered a secondary market for the Bears.

CBS and FOX alternate showing doubleheader games at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. They don't show two games on Sundays except at the end of the season. If CBS has two games, FOX will only carry a 1 p.m. or 4 p.m. game.

Sound complicated? It is for us, too.

We hope this explains a little bit of the process. 506sports.com is a great website to check every week to see which network is carrying which game and at what time.

And for those of you who have no interest in watching football, we have programming alternative on 15.2 (Antenna TV) and 15.3 (ION Television).

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