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The Pittsburgh Steelers will be fighting for their playoff lives on Sunday afternoon against the New York Jets.

Unfortunately for many Steelers fans in York County, they won't be able to watch it on local television.

That's because the local CBS affiliate, WHP Channel 21, will instead show the Baltimore Ravens game against the Cleveland Browns. Both games are slated for 1 p.m. kickoffs and both the Steelers and the Ravens are on the road.

The decision is out of WHP's hands. The NFL requires that the Harrisburg-based station show all Ravens away games and all Ravens sold-out home games when those games are broadcast on CBS.

CBS is the broadcaster for both Steelers-Jets game and the Ravens-Browns game.

The NFL considers WHP to be within the Ravens' broadcast footprint for CBS games.

Such Ravens-Steelers TV conflicts usually arise a couple of times each season.

This Sunday, however, the stakes are much higher than normal for both teams. 

The Steelers (8-6) are tied for the final wild-card playoff berth in the AFC with Tennessee. If Pittsburgh can win its final two games, it will get into the playoffs. The Steelers finish the season at Baltimore at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 29.

That game will definitely be on WHP, but it may not mean anything for the Ravens. Baltimore (12-2), which has already clinched the AFC North title, can sew up home-field advantage throughout the conference playoffs with a win this Sunday vs. Cleveland.

The best bet for Steelers fans who want to watch their team on Sunday is to visit a local establishment with satellite service or visit a friend with the NFL Sunday Ticket through DirecTV.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.

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