Silver & Black have 4 national TV dates


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Jan 22, 2006
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Raiders to face nation
Silver & Black have 4 national TV dates
Nancy Gay, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, April 7, 2006

The NFL released its full schedule Thursday and made certain the star-studded Raiders, coming off only nine victories over the past two seasons, would get plenty of prime-time exposure.

Despite a 4-12 finish in 2005, the attraction of Randy Moss and the return of coach Art Shell are enough to land the Raiders four prime-time appearances in 2006, including the previously announced Monday night doubleheader contest against AFC West rival San Diego at the Coliseum on Sept. 11.

That game, the second of two Monday night contests that will be broadcast by ESPN that evening, will kick off at 7:15 p.m. PDT. Minnesota visits Washington in the first game that night, starting at 5 p.m.

The 49ers, also building off a 4-12 finish, landed one prime-time appearance in 2006, a trip to Seattle to face division foe and the defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks on Thursday, Dec. 14. That game is scheduled to kick off at 5 p.m. PST and will be broadcast on the NFL Network, a pay-per-view cable channel. When games are on the NFL Network, they will also be broadcast on an over-the-air channel in the local markets of the teams involved.

Last season, the 49ers played only one nationally televised game, an ESPN contest against Arizona at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

The Raiders also will visit Denver for a 5:15 p.m. AFC West game on Sunday, Oct. 8, part of the new NBC Sunday night broadcast package. They will travel to Seattle to face the defending NFC champions on Monday, Nov. 6, an ESPN contest.

Finally, the Raiders also will host another AFC West rival, the Chiefs, on Sunday, Dec. 23, with the kickoff at the Coliseum set for 5 p.m. on the NFL Network.

This is the first season of "flexible scheduling" in the NFL for prime-time games, and the league reserves the right to shift Sunday day and night games if the scheduled night game appears to be a less-than-desirable matchup.

That scheduling could affect the proposed kickoff time for the 49ers-Seattle contest on Dec. 14.

The new flex schedule is in effect for Weeks 10 (which starts Nov. 12) through Week 15 and Week 17; Week 16 is excluded because it is a holiday week.

Under the new system, the NFL will be flexible on starting times during those periods, and no national doubleheader games are scheduled in that span. That will allow FOX and CBS, which hold the television rights to the afternoon games, to snag as many as five of the most attractive matchups as the season unfolds.

In Week 17, start times can only be changed if the teams involved receive six days' notice.

The 49ers' schedule certainly is built to get them off to a good start.

Five of their first eight games are at Monster Park, but they open on the road Sunday, Sept. 10 in a 1:15 p.m. NFC West contest against the Arizona Cardinals in that team's new stadium with its retractable roof.

Conversely, the 49ers will conclude the 2006 regular season with five of their final eight games on the road.

"I like the fact that our schedule has five homes games right in the first half of the season," 49ers coach Mike Nolan said. "I have always said that our fans play a big role in our success. Playing at home with the crowd behind us hopefully will help push us to a great start."

In addition to a loaded prime-time schedule, the Raiders also kick off the '06 exhibition season with the Aug. 6 Hall of Fame game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Canton, Ohio.

Across the NFL, there are several intriguing matchups:

-- The once-displaced New Orleans Saints return to the Louisiana Superdome on Sept. 25, playing host to the Atlanta Falcons in a 5:30 p.m. Monday night ESPN contest.

-- Wide receiver Terrell Owens, now with the Dallas Cowboys, returns in Week 5 to the team that benched, then suspended him last season. Dallas visits Philadelphia on Oct. 8.

-- A previously announced Sunday night Sept. 10 NBC game features the Manning brothers -- Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning - dueling at the Meadowlands.

-- A Christmas Monday doubleheader pits Philadelphia at Dallas and the New York Jets at Miami.
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