My Facebook news feed at 3pm this past Sunday exploded with people posting complaints about the fact that Fox 39 Rockford was NOT airing the Chicago Bears game. If you were like so many, you were frustrated because you were stuck watching the end of the Bengals vs. Panthers game, which ended up in a lousy tie.

Are the owners of the TV station closet Packers fans and secret Bears haters? Not quite!

It was quite amusing to see what angry Bears fans posted on Social media.


Yes, if you tuned in at Sunday at 3 p.m to see the Bears, you were stuck seeing the seeing the Panthers and Bengals.

According to, The  NFL and Fox have a rule that states that when one of the first games of a Sunday doubleheader goes long, or in this case into overtime, the local television affiliates are required to to air that game until it's conclusion.

The NFL issued a statement that said:"We require networks to show kickoff of games in primary and secondary markets for visiting teams"

But somehow Rockford was left off that secondary list

What's interesting is the Fox affiliate in Chicago (Fox 32) was allowed to go straight to the Bears game at 3 p.m. while Fox 39 in Rockford was not. The Fox TV stations in Peoria, Champaign, and the Quad Cities were also stuck airing the Bengals/Panthers game.

It's not just us, the same thing happened in Portland and other areas outside of Seattle where Seahawks fans could not view the first quarter of the Seattle game. They were also stuck watching the Bengals and Panthers.

I agree with FOX 39/WTVO's Scott Leber: The FOX/NFL policy is a stupid one.

Leber says:

Unfortunately there is no button here at Fox 39 that we can push to punch up the Bears game in these rare situations. (By the way I have never come across this situation before, that's why I was also confused Sunday.) We (and other network affilates) are at the mercy of what the Fox Network feeds us, and the only game the network was feeding us at that time Sunday was the Bengals-Panthers game. In short, our hands were tied. There was nothing we could do except listen to our phones ring off the hook and watch the emails come pouring in from frustrated fans.

Stateline viewers in DeKalb and McHenry Counties were able to view the Bears game in from the start, while viewers in Boone, Winnebago, Ogle, Stephenson and Lee Counties were not.