Unless you're a big spender who treats you and your family to the NFL Sunday Ticket on DirecTV, you rely on over-the-air and cable TV to get your football fix.
Even if you haven't gotten off the couch during a football game since the days when Jack Kemp was taking snaps, that doesn't mean you don't need a game plan.
With that in mind, the Mixed Media department has been breaking down video, studying network tendencies, and drawing up our scouting report to figure out which football games we are likely to see here this season.
The Bills are scheduled to play all 16 games on Sundays at 1 p.m. What does that tell us about the other games we'll be getting on Channels 4 and 29?
First, you need to start with the rules. The Bills are in the AFC, so the majority of their games are on CBS, Channel 4. The exception to that is when an NFC team is on the road playing the Bills. That type of game is carried here by Fox-Channel 29. That happens just twice this season, in back-to-back weeks, when the Bills host the Bears and Lions in Weeks 9 and 10.
Each weekend of the NFL season is designated as either a CBS doubleheader weekend, or a Fox doubleheader weekend, when those networks may air two games in a given market, a 1 p.m. and a 4 p.m. game.
The exception to that is, when the Bills are playing at home, the channel not carrying Buffalo's game may not show a competing game at the same time. That rule is dictated by the NFL.
When a network is just in a single-header weekend, with one game coming into our market, there's no hard rule that they can't program that game to be shown opposite the Bills, but logic dictates that they don't want to do that. The networks' job is to maximize their audience, not to pick out the best game of the day with no regard for what that game will be competing against on the dial.
Also, during the final six weeks of the season, the networks have the option of requesting schedule changes from the NFL, the so-called "flexing" of more desirable games into high-profile time slots.
With the help of our spies at Channels 2 and 4, we've put together the following NFL TV breakdown for our market. Some games are known, some are our best guesses.
One bit of advice: Don't wait until Sunday to learn how to program your DVR. You're only playing with fire.