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Farmers Insurance Open embraces new schedule to avoid NFL games

Farmers Insurance Open was played during NFL off week before Super Bowl, but league adding 17th game this year pushed back scheduleGETTY IMAGES

This week's Farmers Insurance Open will be "played Wednesday through Saturday for the first time" to avoid conflict with Sunday's NFL conference championships, according to Kirk Kenney of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. The Farmers for years had "occupied the most coveted spot on the early calendar -- the NFL’s off week between its conference championship games and the Super Bowl," but with the league's added 17th game this year, the schedule was pushed back a week. Tournament CEO Marty Gorsich said, "The NFL forced the conversation, but this could well be something we look back in two years and go, ‘Wow, I’m so glad that that happened because look what it’s allowed us to do.'" Gorsich added, “If we can start to create some history and tradition around this we could really embrace this and turn it into our own. It would be our differentiator." Gorsich said that had the tournament stayed with a Sunday finish, the broadcast itself "would have been problematic." Gorsich noted with broadcast partner CBS having the AFC Championship, "It wasn’t even like we would be on TV against the NFL. We wouldn’t be on TV at all." Kenney notes CBS "will broadcast the Farmers on Friday and Saturday." If the tournament is extended because of darkness or a playoff, there "now is the opportunity for a Sunday morning finish rather than Monday" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 1/25).

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