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Why Ravens vs. Bengals will air on Fox, not CBS

The NFL announced Tuesday that the Ravens' game against the Cincinnati Bengals this weekend will air at 1 p.m. on Fox, not CBS.

That's because of a practice called "cross-flexing," which the league created last year. It allows up to seven games a season that would ordinarily be aired on CBS or Fox to be aired on the opposite network.

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The aim is to put the most compelling games in front of the largest possible audience and "help balance out the television schedule, especially in a week where one network has all the most intriguing games."

CBS generally carries games between AFC teams and Fox generally televises NFC games.

Fox will also get the Kansas City Chiefs-Oakland Raiders game at 4:25 p.m., this week leaving CBS with the St. Louis Rams-San Francisco 49ers game in the same time slot.

Here's a full explanation of cross-flexing, from the NFL website:

"In 2014 the league introduced "cross-flexing," which allows up to seven games annually that would have typically aired on Fox or CBS to be aired on the other network. That means, for example, that an all-AFC matchup could air on Fox and an all-NFC game could appear on CBS. An equal number of games must be cross-flexed: If CBS airs three games originally slated for Fox, then Fox would have to get three games that would have originally aired on CBS."

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