“Chiefs Kingdom” again extends into St. Louis, at least from a television perspective.
Since the Rams left town for the riches of Southern California after the 2015 season, the cross-state Kansas City Chiefs have become the go-to NFL team for KMOV (Channel 4).
Most of the Chiefs’ contests are on Sunday afternoons, when CBS and Fox have regional coverage of the NFL. The vast majority of those KC contests are televised by CBS, which has the bulk of games involving AFC teams such as the Chiefs. And executives at local affiliate KMOV know a good thing when they see it. Super Bowl appearances in each of the last two seasons by the club, one a victory, are good for business — especially with the team having assembled a high-octane, entertaining offense somewhat reminiscent of the Rams’ “Greatest Show on Turf” days that rocked St. Louis two decades ago.
All their games last season except the finale were shown in St. Louis, and that was bypassed only because the Chiefs already had locked up the top seed for the AFC playoffs and the contest had no meaning. That KC game was televised by Fox, and local affiliate KTVI (Channel 2) opted for the meaningful Packers-Bears contest instead.
They get going this year on Sunday, at home against Cleveland in a rematch of a tight playoff game last season, and Channel 4 again figures to be heavily on board. It is CBS’ feature game of the day (3:25 p.m. on KMOV), and the network has its lead broadcast team of Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Tony Romo (analysis) and Tracy Wolfson (reporter) on the assignment.
Fox has two Chiefs games this year, and KTVI program manager Sarah Souza said the station plans to show those. She said the station again will be given its schedule otherwise by Fox, but retains the option to request a change if it deems a different matchup would be of more local interest.
The Chiefs also are a big national attraction, as five of their 17 games are schedule to be played in prime time and televised across the country.
They have three appearances set for NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” beginning a week from Sunday when they are at Baltimore. They’re back on Oct. 10 (vs. Buffalo) and Nov. 14 (at Las Vegas). They also are on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” on Nov. 1, when they entertain the New York Giants, and are on “Thursday Night Football” on Dec. 16, when they meet the Chargers in Los Angeles. Fox and NFL Network televise that one. Amazon’s Prime Video streams it, too.
On radio, KMOX (1120 AM) again is on the Chiefs’ network and will carry all their games that don’t overlap its Cardinals baseball broadcasts. In those cases, including this Sunday, the football contests will air on sister station KFTK (97.1 FM). The same will apply for any conflicts with St. Louis University basketball games KMOX airs.
The expansion of the NFL schedule this season from 16 games over 17 weeks to 17 games over 18 weeks for each team has led to some changes in the television schedules.
Most Sundays, three NFL games are televised in each market — generally two at noon (St. Louis time) and one at 3:25 p.m. One network (Fox or CBS) has two games, the other one. The exception had been Week 17, the season finale, when both showed two.
But with the lengthened schedule this year, the networks now get two doubleheaders — this Sunday (see accompanying schedule) and in Week 18.
• ESPN in recent seasons has had a “Monday Night Football” doubleheader to open its schedule, but it shows only one game this time — Baltimore at Las Vegas, at 7:15 p.m. It also will be shown on ABC (KDNL, Channel 30 locally). However, it will have a doubleheader on the final Saturday of the season, Jan. 18. Those matchups will be picked from the Week 18 schedule at a later date.
ESPN/ABC will augment traditional coverage of some “Monday Night Football” telecasts with a more breezy version of the production on ESPN2, with retired Super Bowl champion quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning providing the commentary.
This option will be produced for the first three weeks of the season, as well as seven additional times. Big names from the NFL, as well as general celebrities, also are expected to appear.
“I kinda see it as just two brothers watching an NFL game at a bar and the viewer is watching it with us,” Peyton said Wednesday on The Colin Cowherd Podcast. “And we’re watching it as a fan.”
But it doesn’t figure to be all lighthearted.
“We get to maybe take the viewer behind the ropes a little bit on what the quarterbacks coach is saying to the quarterback,” Peyton said on the show. “... Eli and I can give you those conversations.”
On the traditional telecasts, Steve Levy is back as the play-by-play announcer and works with analysts Brian Griese and Louis Riddick as well as reporter Lisa Salters.
NFL ON TV
Early season NFL television schedule for St. Louis:
Noon: Seattle at Indianapolis, KTVI (2)
Noon: Pittsburgh at Buffalo, KMOV (4)
3:25 p.m.: Cleveland at Kansas City, KMOV (4)
3:25 p.m.: Green Bay at New Orleans, KTVI (2)
7:20 p.m.: Chicago at LA Rams, KSDK (5)
7:15 p.m.: Baltimore at Las Vegas, KDNL (30), ESPN, ESPN2
THURSDAY, SEPT. 16
7:20 p.m.: NY Giants at Washington, NFL Network