As COVID decimates the TV networks, it occasionally gives them a break.
Now comes a big one: Tonight (Monday, Oct. 5), CBS gets some primetime football.
That’s 7:05 p.m., with the Patrick Mahomes (shown here) and the current Super Bowl champions (Kansas City Chiefs) hosting the previous champs (New England Patriots). It partly collides with ESPN’s regular “Monday Night Football” – now pushed back to 8:50 p.m. – with the Green Bay Packers hosting the Atlanta Falcons.
With many of their regular shows delayed, the networks have been boosted by a rare convergence of sports seasons. Baseball is starting its second play-off round … hockey has just finished … and basketball is in its finals: When the Miami Heat won Sunday (after the Los Angeles Lakers took the first two games), ABC was assured of at least two more games – 9 p.m. ET Tuesday and Friday.
CBS is usually on the outside: It has lots of Sunday-afternoon football, but nothing in primetime. Then came the swirl of events:
– Cam Newton, the quarterback who has led the Patriots to a 2-1 start, tested positive for COVID. The Pats-Chiefs game was supposed to be CBS’ second one Sunday; it was postponed and the network settled for a so-so game, with the Indianapolis Colts edging the Chicago Bears.
– Newton’s teammates tested negative, so the game was rescheduled for today. CBS will show “Big Brother” after the game and delay everything else – the “One Day at a Time” reboot and “Manhunt” – for a week.
– The Patriots were set to fly to Kansans City in two planes – one with players and coaches who had been working closely with Newton, the other with everyone else.
– Brian Hoyer, the former Michigan State University quarterback who has been a steady pro back-up, was named the Patriots starter. He goes against Patrick Mahomes, who has been averaging 300 yards and three touchdown passes (with no interceptions) in the Chiefs’ 3-0 start.
It could be a fun game. If not, the Packers (3-0) and Falcons (0-3) are always fun.