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Southern exposure for Week 13

12/1/2011

Let’s take our weekly look at which NFC South games will air in which markets on Sunday.

First off, the New Orleans Saints, who initially were supposed to play a 1 p.m. ET home game with Detroit, will play Sunday night on NBC. The game was flexed to prime time and that means the Saints will play in front of the entire nation.

The other three NFC South teams won’t get anything close to that type of attention. Blame much of that on the hysteria surrounding Denver quarterback Tim Tebow. Take a look at the map on the506.com and you’ll see a lot of blue, which signifies Denver’s game with Minnesota.

Heck, Tebow’s game even will be shown through most of Florida. Part of the reason for that is Tebow is even bigger in Florida than in most places because he went to the University of Florida. But the other factor is that Tampa Bay’s home game with Carolina will not air live on local television, unless there is some extremely dramatic activity at the Bucs’ box office before 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon. Games have to be sold out 72 hours before kickoff or else they are subject to TV blackouts.

It looks like the Buccaneers and Panthers basically will air only in a pocket of Southwest Florida, all of North Carolina and parts of South Carolina.

The Falcons also travel to Houston on Sunday for an early game. Atlanta is not getting the Tebow treatment, but the Falcons will be available to a much larger audience than the Panthers and Bucs. The Atlanta game will air in the parts of the Southeast that we haven’t already mentioned and the geographic range on this one will go far enough West to include most of Texas.