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Sports Blackout Information

 XFINITY is your home for the most live sports, giving you access to the sports you love when and where you want. As an XFINITY TV customer, you can enjoy more sports your way - live in HD on your TV, streaming online and even through XFINITY On Demand!

It's important to remember, however, that sometimes sports can be subject to blackout restrictions. A blackout is when sports teams and leagues (or schools and conferences) prohibit certain games from being seen on certain channels due to ticket sales or games being carried on other channels.

 

National Football League (NFL)

Preseason
While select preseason games might appear exclusively on the national networks (CBS, FOX, NBC and ESPN), most preseason games are televised live only on local broadcast stations or regional cable networks.

NFL Network (available in the XFINITY Digital Preferred and Sports Entertainment Packages) carries every pre-season game on either a live or delayed basis. On occasion, XFINITY may be required by the NFL or a local team to black out the NFL Network's feed or a pre-season game because a local broadcast station is airing the same game. In this case, you may just need to change the channel to find the game you're looking for.

Regular Season
The local stations upon which regular season games appear are decided by the NFL. Typically, games where the road team is from the National Football Conference (NFC) are shown on FOX, while games where the road team is from the American Football Conference (AFC) are shown on CBS. Normally, the local team is shown on the home team's local FOX or CBS affiliate station whether they're playing at home or away. A local NFL team can also enforce a blackout of its home games under the NFL's blackout policy if the game is not sold out. This generally occurs in very few markets.

In addition, six teams play stand-alone, nationally-televised prime time games on Thursdays (CBS and/or NFL Network), Sundays (NBC) and Mondays (ESPN). The Monday and Thursday night games shown on ESPN and the NFL Network are also shown on a local station in the home markets of the participating teams. During the first half of the regular season, Thursday night NFL Network games are also shown live on CBS

XFINITY offers NFL RedZone in our Sports Entertainment Package. This channel appears only on Sundays during the regular season, and it provides live "look-ins" of all games and extensive highlights so you can see all the big plays, no matter where you are.

Postseason
All NFL Playoff games are televised nationally, and early-round playoff games are subject to the NFL's blackout policy if a game is not sold out.
 
 

Major League Baseball (ML

Preseason
Few Spring Training games are televised locally or nationally. In the event that the same pre-season game is televised nationally and locally, the national network is blacked out because the game is shown on another channel in the local market.

Regular Season
Over the course of the MLB's season, nationally-televised games may appear on FOX, ESPN, FS1, FS2, TBS and the MLB Network. Local blackouts of national networks are common because virtually all games are televised in each team's local market either on a local broadcast station or regional cable network. These local/regional airings are never blacked out. This means you will rarely miss your home team games. You may just need to change the channel to find the game you're looking for.

For an additional fee, you can purchase the MLB EXTRA INNINGS Pay Per View (PPV) package, a collection of most of the televised games from other markets. The only games in the MLB EXTRA INNINGS package that are subject to blackout are those also carried by your local station/regional cable network.

Postseason
All MLB Playoff games are televised nationally, and they are not subject to any blackouts. The schedule is sometimes not determined until the last minute, as one day's television schedule sometimes depends on the outcome of the previous day's game(s).
 
 

National Basketball Association (NBA)

Preseason
Very few preseason games are televised locally or nationally, and none are subject to blackouts.

Regular Season
Over the course of the NBA's season, nationally-televised games may appear on ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBA TV. All games on ABC will not be shown on any other local broadcast station or regional cable network and are not subject to blackouts. Only some games shown on ESPN and TNT are exclusive to those networks, while others are subject to blackouts because they will be shown on a local station or regional network instead. In addition, all games on NBA TV are subject to blackouts. Note: Local and regional airings are never blacked out. You'll just need to change the channel to find the game you're looking for.

For an additional fee, customers can purchase the NBA LEAGUE PASS Pay Per View (PPV) package, a collection of most of the televised games from other markets. The only games in the NBA LEAGUE PASS package that are subject to blackout are those also carried on a local station or regional cable network.

Postseason
The NBA Playoffs consists of four rounds of games. Games during the first two rounds may be televised locally, regionally or nationally. During these first two rounds, games televised nationally may be blacked out on the national network and shown on a local station or regional network. Games during the third round are shown exclusively on ESPN or TNT, and the NBA Finals are shown exclusively on ABC. Games in the final two rounds are not subject to any blackouts. The schedule is sometimes not determined until the last minute, as one day's schedule sometimes depends on the outcome of the previous day's game(s).
 
 

National Hockey League (NHL)

Preseason
Very few preseason games are televised locally or nationally, and none are subject to blackouts.

Regular Season
Over the course of the NHL's season, nationally-televised games may appear on NBC, NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) or NHL Network. No games on NBC are subject to blackouts, and they will not be shown on any other local broadcast station or regional cable network. However, only some games on NBCSN are exclusive, which means that others are subject to blackouts when shown on local stations or regional networks. In addition, all games on NHL Network are similarly subject to blackouts. Note: These local/regional airings are never blacked out. You'll just need to change the channel to find the game you're looking for.

For an additional fee, customers can purchase the NHL Center Ice Pay Per View (PPV) package, a collection of most of the televised games from other markets. The only games in the NHL Center Ice package that are subject to blackout are those also carried on a local station/regional cable network.

Postseason
The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs consists of four rounds of games. Games during the first round may be televised locally, regionally or nationally. National television coverage includes the same networks as the regular season with the addition of CNBC. During this opening round, games televised nationally may be blacked out on the national network when they are aired by a local station or regional network. Games during the second, third and final rounds are shown exclusively on NBC, NBCSN and CNBC and are not subject to any blackouts. The schedule is sometimes not determined until the last minute, as one day's schedule sometimes depends on the outcome of the previous day's game(s).
 
 

College Sports

In recent years, specific schools and college conferences have established their own networks (e.g., Pac 12 Networks, Big 10 Network (BTN) and most recently, the Southeastern Conference's SEC Network). The University of Texas and the University of Notre Dame also have established their own unique television presence on the Longhorn Network and NBC/NBCSN, respectively. The three conference networks experience a logjam of football games on certain Saturdays, and may require an overflow channel in order to accommodate simultaneous live games.
 
 

More About Finding Your Favorite Sports Games & Teams

  • Overflow Channels - In many larger markets, the number of games being played at the same time frequently exceeds the number of available channels/networks. When this occurs, the second (or third) simultaneous game will be televised on a part-time, extra channel.
  • To find out what channel a particular game is going to be on or when and where to catch coverage of your favorite team, we recommend that you check the local listings on your on-screen guide or visit team, league, school and conference websites for the most up-to-date information (weather and post-season scheduling can change frequently).
  • For more information on accessing sporting events online, please see What is TV Everywhere?.
Version history
Revision #:
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Last update:
‎09-18-2017 05:25 PM
Updated by:
 
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