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Doubleheader (television): Wikis


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Doubleheader is used by network television to refer to two games in any sport aired back-to-back on the same network, even though they do not involve the same two teams (three such games may be referred to as a tripleheader, this scenario being encountered most frequently in basketball). A doubleheader purposely coincides with a league's scheduling of "early" and "late" games. In North America, games usually start at the same time period in different time zones (Eastern and Pacific).


National Football League

National Football League (NFL) games usually start around 1 p.m. local time, creating a 1 p.m/4 p.m doubleheader in the Eastern Time Zone and a 10 a.m/1 p.m. doubleheader in the Pacific Time Zone.

The two networks who broadcast NFL games on Sunday afternoons — Fox and CBS — both typically air doubleheaders during the regular season (with the other network only being permitted to broadcast one game in a specific market), with restrictions applying to some markets in which the local team is playing at home that week. When combined with the Sunday night game on NBC, this creates a tripleheader (as is sometimes advertised by the league's radio partner, Westwood One, which carries three games in a tripleheader).

Since 2006, Week 1 of the NFL regular season also features a doubleheader on Monday Night Football, with the nightcap game being two West Coast teams. This stems from circumstances created by the most recent television contract.

Canadian Football League

The Canadian Football League has aired doubleheaders and tripleheaders, usually on Saturdays and Sundays. Two Monday doubleheaders, the Labour Day Classic and the Thanksgiving Day Classic, are among the most prominent games in the schedule and occur on two national holidays. The Labour Day doubleheader features prominent rivalries (Hamilton-Toronto and Edmonton-Calgary), while the Thanksgiving games are rotated each year.

Doubleheaders are also used to present the Division Semi-Final and Division Final weeks of the CFL playoffs.

National Hockey League

Every Saturday night during the National Hockey League (NHL) regular season, CBC's Hockey Night in Canada televises a doubleheader. The first game, featuring teams in the East, begins at 7 p.m. Eastern/4 p.m. Pacific. The second game, featuring teams in the West, airs at 10 p.m Eastern/7 p.m. Pacific.

NHL on Versus also airs doubleheaders, usually on Monday nights, in the same time slots.

The NHL on TSN usually (but not always) has doubleheaders on Wednesday nights, although they may occur on other nights of the week.

National Basketball Association

The NBA currently airs a doubleheader on Christmas afternoon, but otherwise does not normally air doubleheaders. The league is experimenting in 2009 with a Thanksgiving night doubleheader.



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