Less than a year into his tenure as chairman of the Federal Communication Commission, Tom Wheeler has announced that at the end of the month, the FCC will vote on killing the 39-year-old rule mandating local blackouts for NFL games that don't sell out.
We can't speak to the chances of McCain's bill passing. We can only say that we very much want to live in a world where teams that play in publicly funded stadiums are no longer allowed to black out home games that don't sell out.
A couple months back, the NFL softened its blackout policy. The league once bound local stations to black out nearby home games if they had unsold seats. Now—although the league still incentivizes complete sellouts—teams have the option of airing their games with as little as 85 percent of their seats sold. It's a…
The Wall Street Journal published a piece over the weekend about dwindling attendance at NFL games and the league's plans to combat it. Buried within the story was this nugget:
We did a post yesterday on Richard Nixon's 1972 efforts to forever sustain the NFL's policy of blacking out teams' home games in their local markets. The NFL rejected Nixon's bargain, and so, from 1973 on, only those games with unsold tickets 72 hours prior to kickoff would be blacked out. That rule still stands.
It's hard, in 2012, to imagine anyone being upset about Redskins games not airing on local television. Presumably it would be a treat for the long-suffering fans in DC.
There's an interesting question being posed out in the Rockies regarding the University of Colorado fans' "Black Outs" concept. That question is this: "If white people paint their faces black at games, is that racist?"
This is the story of a bar with a modicum of computer knowledge, and a dream. That dream: to watch the Buccaneers get massacred, even though the game wasn't sold out and therefore not shown on local Tampa television.
Sixteen years ago, one grassroots organization brought the Jaguars to Jacksonville. Now they're back, doing everything they can to keep them there. (Note: "everything they can" appears limited to coupons for nachos and soda at one game.)
The Cowboys have sold over 20,000 standing-room tickets for their official stadium opener Sunday and have a shot to break the NFL attendance record....if only they can can convince a few people to buy actual seats.
Blackout rules mean that if your local NFL team sucks, you don't get to watch their games live. Now by letting you watch the game "on a delayed basis," the league is acting like they're doing your a favor.
Twelve NFL teams could be affected by blackout rules this year—only three teams had blackouts last season—including Jacksonville, where local television may end up broadcasting zero home games. It's still better than living in Tallahassee. [SBJ]