Nov 8, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws a pass in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL’s COVID-19 related schedule changes have produced some interesting outcomes this year, from Wednesday Afternoon Football on NBC (thanks to the Christmas In Rockefeller Center special) to Titans-Bills on a Tuesday night on CBS to a planned mid-season Monday Night Football doubleheader on ESPN (which actually didn’t happen, thanks to Broncos-Patriots getting delayed further to the following Sunday). But the changes around Monday’s Washington Football Team-Pittsburgh Steelers game are particularly interesting.

That game was initially planned as one of several games in an early Sunday window on Fox, but it was moved to 5 p.m. Eastern Monday after Ravens-Steelers got bumped to Wednesday. (Ravens-Cowboys got bumped to Tuesday, but that was originally a national Thursday night game, and it will still be a national broadcast on Fox/NFL Network/Amazon.) But, as per JP Kirby of 506 Sports, as of Thursday night, it’s only set to air on 71  selected Fox affiliates. Viewers elsewhere will need NFL Sunday Ticket to watch it:

As Kirby noted, local on-screen guides on this may well not be accurate, and this is a decision made above the level of the local stations. There hasn’t been an official explanation for it yet, but it may be about numbers of games contractually required for Sunday Ticket. (Kirby also said that those who have Fox affiliates impacted by the Tegna-DirecTV dispute will not be able to watch this on Sunday Ticket.)

At any rate, this is an interesting situation. And it means that Monday night’s early game will not be watchable for many people who live outside those red-shaded regions and don’t have Sunday Ticket. And with the Steelers currently 11-0, there’s a lot of national interest in this one. But there will be a lot of potential viewers who won’t be able to watch it.

[506 Sports on Twitter/506 Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.