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Your NFL Bay Area TV Preview: 49ers 2014 TV schedule looks good

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The 2013 49ers didn’t make it to the Super Bowl as they did in 2012. Nevertheless, their 2014 schedule is a vast improvement over the 2013 version, TV-wise. Let’s take a look.

For starters, they have three national appearances on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, the NFL’s marquee showcase. They’ll host the Bears for the kickoff of their new stadium on September 14, face the Super Bowl-losing Broncos on October 19, and host a rematch with their NFC West-rivals and Super Bowl winners, the Seahawks on Thanksgiving night.

And that’s if they’re the contenders they’re expected to be. In a change to the flex scheduling rules, NBC is now permitted to switch games beginning in Week 5. That means if the 49ers are competitive, NBC can add more of their contests. On the flip side, if they’re unexpectedly bad, the Broncos and Seahawks matchups can be dropped.

No such luck for ESPN’s Monday Night Football. Its schedule is locked in stone. Oddly, the 49ers will only make one appearance there, on October 13 at the Rams. This telecast will also be available on channel 5.

The 49ers also have no Thursday kickoffs on NFL Network or CBS. However, their Saturday, December 20th matchup with the Chargers will be on both networks as part of a Week 16 doubleheader.

They're also featured in at least four primary contests on Fox. These include their opening week kickoff at the Cowboys. Then there's a Week 4 visit from the Eagles, followed by Alex Smith’s return to SF when the Chiefs come to town. And finally in Week 15, there's the other matchup at the Seahawks, on December 14.

All four are Sunday at 1:25 p.m. on Fox and are scheduled to be the contest it calls "America's Game of the Week". By the way, so is the Week 14 contest against the Raiders. However, unless the Silver and Black suddenly become decent, this one won’t air beyond Reno.

There’s also an area where things have gotten better for the 49ers: This year they have only have one 1:05 p.m. home start, down from three last year. It’s Week 9 hosting the Rams. 1:05 starts are considered much less prestigious than 1:25, because it means you're on the network without that week's doubleheader.

But when you add it all up, they have nine potential national appearances, out of 16.

Almost making the the Super Bowl has its privileges. Launching a new stadium is not such a bad idea either.


49ers @ Cowboys
49ers @ Cowboys Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

49ers @ Cowboys

The 49ers will kick off their 2014 Quest for Six at the Cowboys, Sunday, September 7 at 1:25 p.m. on Fox.


Bears @ 49ers
Bears @ 49ers Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Bears @ 49ers

On Sunday night September 14, the 49ers will christen their new stadium with a primetime matchup against the Bears on NBC.


49ers @ Broncos
49ers @ Broncos Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

49ers @ Broncos

Also on NBC, the 49ers head to the Mile High City to face the Super Bowl-losing Broncos in primetime on October 19.


49ers vs. Seahawks
49ers vs. Seahawks Christian Petersen/Getty Images

49ers vs. Seahawks

The 49ers host a rematch with their NFC West-rivals and Super Bowl winners, the Seahawks, on Thanksgiving night on NBC. Two weeks later they're at the Seahawks at 1:25 p.m. on Fox


Chargers @ 49ers
Chargers @ 49ers Harry How/Getty Images

Chargers @ 49ers

The 49ers' Saturday December 20th matchup with the Chargers will be on both CBS and NFL Network as part of a Week 16 doubleheader.