NFL ratings are soaring again this young season, exemplified by Sunday’s matchup of quarterback brothers Peyton and Eli Manning. And the stellar numbers for that game would have been ever better if not for the mandatory regional TV coverage of the Oakland Raiders-Jacksonville Jaguars yawner in some local markets. See, the NFL designated Orlando as a “secondary market” when the Jaguars joined the NFL in 1995. Because TV signals for Orlando affiliates reach within 75 miles of the Jags’ stadium 140 miles away, by rule stations must carry all of the team’s road games. That means no cutting away during blowouts to show a more competitive out-of-town contest. So while most of the U.S. was enjoying the Manning brothers’ showdown last Sunday, Orlando CBS affiliate WKMG was torturing viewers with a plodding 19-9 Jaguars’ loss to the Oakland Raiders. And next Sunday, when most of the country will enjoy the marquee matchup of hotshot young QBs Andrew Luck and Colin Kaepernick, the Jaguars will lose to the unbeaten Seattle Seahawks.
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