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What's On This Weekend in TV Sports (Dec. 18-19)

Tom Brady of Tampa Bay vs. New England on Oct. 3, 2021
(Image credit: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

The TV sports listings for the weekend before Christmas starts on the football field as NFL Network televises a Saturday evening game with playoff implications as the New England Patriots face off against the Indianapolis Colts.

The Las Vegas Raiders-Cleveland Browns game scheduled for Saturday has been moved to Monday due to a significant amount of COVID-19 infections among Browns players, according to the NFL. An increase in COVID-19 infections among league players has also forced the move of Sunday's The Washington Football Team-Philadelphia Eagles game and the Seattle Seahawks-Los Angeles Rams contest to Tuesday, according to the league.

On Sunday night, Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the New Orleans Saints in NBC’s Sunday Night Football telecast. 

College football bowl season begins in earnest this weekend as the first of more than 40 bowl games launch on Saturday. ESPN will televise the Boca Raton Bowl (Western Kentucky-Appalachian St.),  New Mexico Bowl (UTEP-Fresno State), Lending Tree Bowl (E. Michigan-Liberty) and New Orleans Bowl (Louisiana-Marshall.) ABC will air the Independence Bowl (UAB-BYU) and LA Bowl (Utah State-Oregon St.)

Several NCAA top ten-rated college basketball teams will also be in action this week. On Saturday top-ranked Baylor travels to play Oregon on ESPN2, while third-ranked Purdue will face Butler on Fox. Fifth-ranked Gonzaga will take on 25th-ranked Texas Tech on CBS and sixth-ranked Alabama meets JSU on the SEC Network

In the ring, Showtime will distribute a pay-per-view boxing match between YouTube star Jake Paul and former MMA fighter Tyron Woodley. The fight is a rematch of their August 2021 PPV fight won by Paul via a split decision.  

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.