NFL's Latest 'Heidi Moment' Highlights Its TV Woes

LA viewers missed end of Raiders-Bills game --- for commercials.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 18: Jason Campbell #8 of the Oakland Raiders throws a pass during an NFL game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

    One of the more enjoyable things about living in a city that doesn't have an NFL team is that, in theory, you aren't subject to being forced to watch a horrible local team at the expense of a marquee matchup, or a game that's about to build up to a wild finish.

    Ah, but don't tell the residents of LA that this is always the case, because the league subjected them to a brief "Heidi" moment on Sunday when they cut off the great ending of Bills/Raiders to bring viewers, well, nothing.

    From Michael David Smith and our boys at PFT:

    Sunday’s thrilling Raiders-Bills game was televised in Los Angeles on KCBS — right up until the most thrilling part, when viewers were shifted from the great Raiders-Bills ending to three minutes of commercials, followed by kickoff of the Chargers-Patriots game.

    PFT explains that the NFL treated LA as a secondary market for the Chargers, which is why the first game was pre-empted.

    The League says it won't do that anymore, and with good reason. Trying to create secondary markets for a team is a stupid and pointless idea that only serves to infuriate people. If I live in LA, I don't want the league trying to force me to become a Chargers fan, especially at the expense of seeing a good game.

    Leagues do this all the time. "Hey, you only live two hours away! It's almost like you're a San Diegan!" No. No, it isn't. You stop that right now. The Chargers are not LA's team (yet), just as the Seahawks are not Boise's team. You can't force these things.

    But the more aggravating part of this miscue is that the league cut off the end of that Bills game in favor of ads. Cut off a game in favor of a kickoff that's happening right as we speak? That I can almost understand, if not tolerate. But to cut off a game in favor of a parade of commercials while you amble lazily into kickoff? Yeah no, that's a crime worse than arson. It needs to be a quick cut. BAM! One game to the next.

    The NFL has gone to great pains to make fans of THE LEAGUE, and not just one team in general. It's the whole key to its success. You love one team, but you follow them all. And these early cutoff times go against that brilliant strategy. So while the NFL was smart to do away with the policy for LA, it needs to do away with the early cutoffs EVERYWHERE. And if the first game you watch still isn't over by the local team's kickoff, they should send you flowers and hot wings.