It could have been worse. It should have been worse. Based on their dismal showing last season, the Raiders are lucky that their 2014 TV schedule isn’t as bad as it probably deserves to be. It might have to do with the fact that their schedule has to coincide with that of the 49ers.
As you already read here, the Silver and Black will have only one national primetime appearance: Week 12 hosting the Chiefs on NFL Network's Thursday Night Football, also on KGO channel 7. And it's only because the Raiders have to play on Thursday at least once. As a condition of the NFL Network's Thursday expansion, they're required to feature as many squads as possible.
Last year the Raiders had two national broadcasts. One was on Monday Night Football , the other was on Thanksgiving. Both were on the road to avoid blackouts. This season, they're down to one but it's at home. However, no MNF, period. And Sunday nights on NBC? Be serious.
On Sundays, where their other 15 matchups will take place, the number of 1:25 p.m. kickoffs versus 1:05 p.m. starts has improved. This season, they've got eight 1:25-ers and only two 1:05-ers, one of which is on the road. Compare that to last year when they had four 1:05-ers, and five 1:25-ers.
Again, 1:25 kickoffs are more prestigious than 1:05 starts because the former is the second half of a doubleheader, and may be that network's primary game, while the latter can spoil the doubleheader.
Should the Raiders turn some heads and actually be good, they may be elevated to the primary matchup on CBS or Fox if both squads in each contest are competitive. They include kickoffs against their divisional rivals, the Broncos, Chiefs, and Chargers, all of whom made the playoffs. They've also got a November 2 visit to the Super Bowl-champion Seahawks.
Other highlights include a trip to London to face the Dolphins in Week 4, and a Bay Area scrimmage hosting the 49ers on Week 14. While that last one will get a lot of notoriety around here, it's expected to illicit a yawn nationally.
Considering the Raiders went 4-12 in 2013, their TV schedule looks pretty good this year. Now imagine how much better next year's will be if they win.