In a move that is sure to maximize the amount of football seen by football fans every Sunday, the NFL has opted to move the start time of late-game of NFL doubleheaders on FOX and CBS from 4:15 PM ET to 4:25 PM ET:
The 4:25 PM ET kickoff time will reduce instances in which fans miss the end of a 1:00 PM ET game telecast because they must receive the opening kickoff of their home team's late-afternoon game. In addition, fans not in the cities of the late doubleheader opponents will be less likely to miss the beginning of the late doubleheader game.
In researching the kickoff time shift, the NFL analyzed games from the 2009-11 seasons and found that 44 games required part of the audience to be switched to a mandatory doubleheader game kickoff. With a 4:25 PM ET kickoff time, that number that would have been reduced by 66 percent to only 15 games.
Interesting stuff, as there was pretty much nothing more agonizing than missing the end of a great game, or the beginning of your team's own game due to a game that runs past 4:15.
So how does this affect the Patriots? Before the NFL's announced time changes, the team had two 4:15 double header games on the schedule: week five against the Broncos, and week seven against the Jets. The team could also potentially have some of their late season 1:00 PM ET games flexed out to the later game as well.