The NFL has quietly made a pretty big change in kickoff times, as they will move 1:15pm PT kickoffs to 1:25pm. 1:05pm PT start times will remain the same. Generally speaking, if you're watching network coverage, it means fewer cut-offs. According to the NFL, in a study of games from 2009 to 2011, 44 games required part of the audience to be switched to a mandatory doubleheader game kickoff. With a 1:25pm kickoff time, that number that would have been reduced by 66 percent to only 15 games.
In years past we've had to deal with the networks switching away from games to get to the local game. If you're a 49ers fan outside of San Francisco, that could be a problem on early games where you might miss the final part of an early 49ers game because of the needed switch. For fans outside the Bay Area, this appears to be a step in the right direction.
The 49ers are impacted by this as much as anybody due to their increased number of 1:15pm PT games. The 49ers strong performance last year means more appearances as the FOX or CBS Game of the Week. The 49ers will make seven appearances on now 1:25pm games, with one appearance at 1:05. We don't know yet how many of those 1:25pm games will be the "Game of the Week", but I have to think several will be scheduled accordingly.
I think it's virtually a lock that week one 49ers-Packers will be a game of the week, with the 49ers-Giants game close to a lock depending on how the two teams start the season. It is possible 49ers-Seahawks and/or 49ers-Cardinals could get a Game of the Week slot, but that would depend in large part on how the division race is shaping up at that point. This also does not reflect games that could get flexed into Sunday Night Football.
One thing to keep in mind with the potential FOX Games of the Week: It could mean a whole lot of Joe Buck. I suppose the high profile games have to come with a cost.