On Thursday, the NFL announced a change in scheduling for late afternoon doubleheader games on CBS and FOX.
Games that previously kicked off at 2:15 p.m. MT will now move 10 minutes later to a 2:25 p.m. MT kickoff.
The change is designed to reduce overlaps with the end of 11 a.m. MT games. Any kickoffs at 2:05 p.m. MT — the Broncos have three — will remain unchanged.
The move currently affects four Broncos games this season — Week 3 vs. Houston, Week 5 at New England, Week 11 vs. San Diego and Week 17 at Kansas City.
As part of the league’s flex scheduling policy, the Broncos’ Week 15 matchup in Baltimore could also be moved into the late-game spot, meaning a move to a 2:25 p.m. MT kick.
The reasoning behind the shift in kickoff time is to allow more fans to see more football. It is designed to reduce instances in which fans miss the end of an 11 a.m. MT game on television because of the opening kickoff of their home team’s late game.
Before making the change, the NFL analyzed games during the 2009 through 2011 seasons and found that 44 games required part of the audience to be switched to the kickoff of a late game prior to the end of the early game. With a 2:25 p.m. MT kickoff time, that number would have been reduced to just 15 games — a 66 percent decrease.
The fan-friendly change will affect approximately 40 games over the course of the 2012 season.