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 fan-friendly turn, if your town's owner allows it.
But don't get it twisted: This wasn't magnanimity from the suits on Park Avenue. Rather, the FCC had solicited public comment to review the legality of the NFL's blackout rule. The NFL caved preemptively. So when you read these comments—the highlights from the larger batch fans left for the feds—think of them not just as the e-ramblings of ordinary Americans but as government record.
dr ramon reid [excerpt]:
what the black outs for games that are not sold out has increased the criminal
activity of thousands of fans throughout the nation as they find ways to surf the web and watch games that way in real time. so the FCC is encouraging illegal activities by sticking with this policy. for crying out loud, we have enough other important issues to consider as a nation than promoting international cheaters who look for criminal ways to surf the web. PLEASE DELETE THIS POLICY OF BLACKING OUT HOME FOOTBALL GAMES FOR GAMES NOT SOLD OUT. sincerely, Dr Ramon "Rocky" Reid
Donald Eichinger [excerpt]:
Back when this was enacted games were on local free t.v. Now I pay for my t.v. even local so when the game is blacked out they put some old movie or something on ! I'm a football fan so if I live in an nfl blackout area even if I'm not a fan of that team I'm blacked out. I think we should start a national protest over getting charged for something we are not getting.Wasn't there a tea party once for the same thing !!!
Joe Mastrangelo [excerpt]:
Force us to sell out a huge stadium and deal with traffic and overpay for parking and pay $10 a beer? I love watching the game and tailgating as much as the next guy, but hell, if it's a miserable rainy, snowy Sunday, I don't want to have to be concerned that not enough people won't want to go so I can't watch football. Granted, I live in New England, so that's not a concern any time soon. But it MIGHT be. Especially later on. When I'm not 28 and more prone to being cranky about the weather and Brady has pulled a Favre and retired for the 17th time. Forget that. I wanna watch my crappy has-been 2023 Pats from my couch.
Tom Tellico [excerpt]:
as a WNY/Buffalo resident..even though the bills suck (rotten core)its insulting as a tax payer to fund this team or any other when due to bottom line greed...(if we televise the games no one will attend). its absolutely offensive and insults our intelligence. its plain wrong especially in
a locale where we..the tax payer have to fund the stadium..whether its for maintenance or whatever. what id like is a face to face with our POS owner Ralph wilson to tell him what i think of him. scum bag pig faced POS..greedy bastard.
If this is not the dumbest rule known to man, I do not know what is! I myself, am a season ticket holder of the Raiders, I am on their wall hall of fame for their return to oakland. The blackout rule is a punishment, not a incentive to but tickets, both teams in the area here have struggled selling out games, the 49ers buy up seats to sell out their games so their games dont get blacked out, the raiders sold out their season with better football last yr. The NFL is way to arrogant and foolish to not show their local brand to kids wanting their team on TV to watch, show me one guy who had no residual income to buy tickets and take a family of 4-5 to see either team if it meant not eating for two weeks as that outing will cost him about 400 bucks to take the team, maybe 500 with parking and meat on the grill. Stop the punishment to the fans.
Kitt Callahan [excerpt]:
Stop being greedy cocksuckers! Most people can't pay outrageous ticket prices every Sunday. I'm sick of getting it stuck in my ass everywhere I go. Let me at least sit home on Sundays and watch football because thats the only thing I can afford.
Danny Hathway [excerpt]:
i want to watch my home team even if i can't afford to pay for a cock sucking ticket you stupid niggers
The airwaves belong to the public, not the NFL or to any other corporate entity. The NFL LOVES the money it makes off of ridiculously lucrative television contracts, and it does NOT have the right to monopolize who gets to watch from home and who is forced to pay for an overpriced ticket to watch the overpriced players perform in person.
Nick O'Neill [excerpt]:
Plus, the NFL is evil anyway. Seriously, why would you side in favor of that monopolistic hunk of crap?
Please end the blackouts! Its unsportsman like conduct! Personal foul! 15 yard penatly!
I am a Charger season ticket holder and drive 2 hours from home to reach the stadium. Sometimes I let my husband take a friend and chose to stay home. To have the game blacked out irks me to no end. I support my team, but not all families can. It is just too expensive to take a family to the game, and especially hard if their are really young babies involved. Dont punish the fans for more profit for the NFL. Thanks
As a dedicated chargers fan of 20 some years I find it ridiculous that I am subjected to blackouts. I usually go the extremes to make a four hour drive to Sant Barbara just to watch the game. I find it increasingly difficult to do this due to the economic downturn of the working class. I just want to be able to have a sense of security with the one thing that gives me a temporary distraction to life's struggles. Please consider the the everyday working man in your decision making. Thanks
I AM A DISPLACED SAN DIEGAN AND A CHARGERS FAN I USED TO THINK THE BLACKOUT RULE WAS INTENDED TO INVOLVE LOCAL TELEVISION market (100 mi.) unfortunatly i am unable to access the san diego market(tv) i do receive l.a. and natl. markets. I live over 140 mi. from san diego and am unable to attend the games in person...prohibitive prices..out of touch ticket prices, fuel prices, hotel prices...etc. now you have the opportunity to do what is right and help the average american in these difficult financial times. i pay a fortune to watch tv and still have to endure hrs. of endless commercials...in spite of having pd. to watch tv i am still being denied watching what i enjoy..so greedy multimillionare team owners and overpaid and coddled athletes can continue to lockout hard working football fans.this archaic practice serves no usefull purpose, it does not sell tickets...and does not benefit the players. it only punishes the fans without rhyme of reason...i am asking you to remove black rules...it is time! let these organizations stand on their merit. Thank You!
John Hollman [excerpt]:
I've been a Charger fan since 1978. The blackout rule has never induced me to buy a ticket to a game that was blacked out. Currently, all it does is force me to find the blacked out game on the Internet, which is simple.
stop with the madddddddneeeessssss and end the black outs already :)
Albert Resendez [excerpt]:
END THE BLACKOUT RULE NOW!!!!! IT'S UNAMERICAN!!!!
THE ECONOMY IS HORRIBLE!!! HAVING THE BLACKOUT RULE, IS RIDICULOUS AND DOESN'T HELP THE SITUATION!! OBVIOUSLY PEOPLE CAN'T AFFORD TO GO TO ALOT OF GAMES, BUT WITH NOT EVEN HAVING IT ON THE TV, ONLY WORSENS THE SITUATION— NOW WE CAN'T EVEN GO TO A RESTAURANT OR BAR TO WATCH IT, NOT ALLOWING AT LEAST MONEY TO THEM, OR TO HAVE GET TOGETHER AT HOME, HAVING TO ALSO PUT MONEY IN THE ECONOMY BY BUYING STUFF AT THE GROCERY STORE!!! TIMES ARE TOUGH..AND JUST BECAUSE WE CAN'T ALWAYS AFFORD TO BUY THE TICKETS, DOESN'T MEAN WE SHOULDN'T BE ALLOWED TO BUY OTHER THINGS FOR HELP W/PEOPLES JOBS AT THE OTHER LOCATIONS FOR THE GAMES. THIS RULE SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN PUT INTO EFFECT, IT'S ANTI-CONSUMER!! THE GAMES SHOULD ALWAYS BE BROADCAST, REGARDLESS OF HOW MANY TICKETS HAVE BEEN SOLD!!!!!
[The syllabus for American History 1070 at Polk State College, with no additional commentary]
If games are sold out 72 hours (3 days) in advance,
__ then if advertisers PAY for the broadcast in the home market and advertisers PAY the TEAM,
__ then the games should be on public TV.
Advertisers should pay $10 per seat of the Stadium, a price that should be SET for PERPETUITY.
More than 1 Advertiser should pay 60% of the $10 fee.
More than 3 Advertisers, these should pay 40% of the $10 fee.
Thus an incentive for the TEAMS to provide better players, better records.
As for me, I cannot afford to pay $6 for a drink ever.
Never pay $2 for a hot dog.
Maybe Advertisers should provide lower cost drinks/food - to cover players salaries.
If they are traded, then their salary goes down.
This is a bogus and archaic rule that only benifits the already mega-rich team owners. After suffering the lockout over the summer of 2011, I believe that the FCC needs to send a real message out to team owners: the average sports fan is not a billionaire, Jon Bon Jovi does not represent the "working class," and these are hard times. Please stop the practice of the home game blackout.
Dee Emswiler [excerpt]:
I do not enjoy the game in as much person as I do at home. I can drink and not drive, so it is safer. I can yell as loud as I want and I do not have to hear other people yell. If it is being broadcast I have the right to view it and not be extorted for hundreds of dollars. They are already getting paid by the TV companies to broadcast. If they want more people in the stands make going to the game a better experience. Power to the people!
Ruthe de la Rosa [excerpt]:
Pleeeze stop catering to the greedy b...... thanks and lowering the prices to the games would be nice also since the economy....in God we trust..
I have a suggestion which will probably not be adopted but would be fair. People over 65 should be exempt from the blackout rules. Most of us over 65 are either retired, have little money or have some kind of handicap. We should not be forced to attend a sports event in order to watch a game. Dave Coffaro
Ed Tofil [excerpt]:
My dad resides in Dunkirk, NY and is 85 years old. Some of my best memories are of him taking me to see the Buffalo Bills at War Memorial Stadium as well as Ralph Wilson Stadium. He hasn't gone to a game recently but still follows them faithfully. It is amazing to me that he now has no way to see his Buffalo Bills during a blacked out game. Perhaps we could consider the fact HE FOUGHT IN WORLD WAR II TO MAINTAIN OUR FREEDOMS. I mean Holy Cow—-he can't watch his favorite team on tv because they can't sell 80,000+ tickets (how is that fair). A personal note to Ralph Wilson/or to whom it may concern——lifting the blackouts worked wonders for the new ownership of the the Chicago Blackhawks. Please take a chance and do what is right. It's the right thing to do for goodness sake.
To whom it may concern, I would like to cast my vote to repeal the NFL black out rule. My wife and I have medical disability and can not walk very far. All though I'm writing for my wife and myself, I would be writing for thousands of people in NFL citys across the country that have an NFL team. We all pay county, city and state taxes as well that pay for stadium upkeep contracts. We also buy hats, sweaters + tee shirts. All items with the league symbol. So I hope when you are making your decision on the black out rule you don't forget about people with disabilities because we would like to see all the football games on TV. Sincerely, Mr. and Mrs. James Snyder
Carter Potts [excerpt]:
Please do not end the NFL's blackouts. Make those jerks buy tickets.
Robin Morrow [excerpt]:
Why are you wasting time? If blackout rules were lifted,many fans would stay home for free. Parking and restaurants would suffer,but fans would have free games,until team moved or folded,due to lack of $$$$support. And now,let's get politicans involved—they'll fix everything. This site was set up by 8th graders,with zero thought put into thinking about results of lifting blackouts.
"Black Outyes" [excerpt]:
Come on Cry Baby Bills! It's not time eliminate Blackouts but to expand them. What, Yes! If a team cannot sell out all its seats by the Thursday prior to the start of NFL season None the Home Games should be on local TV. This includes the Toronto game! All the following are rounded off. Buffalo has 200,000 residents; Erie County has 950,000 residents; WNY 2,700,000 and Ontario 5,500,000. So the Bills Blackout Territory has total population of 8,200,000 (not including any out of state sales Erie, PA etc.). Ralph Wilson stadium has 657,000 total seats available for sale on an annual basis while there are another 53,000 in Toronto for an annual ticket base of 700,000. There are 43,000 season ticket holders for a total of 387,000 seats sold (no season tickets in Toronto). To sell out every game it takes another 313,000 single game ticket sales. If that sounds like a lot its NOT. There 7,813,000 people available to buy these 313,000 single game tickets. Said another way there 24 people available to buy each seat. To say it so even GR bozos understand it if each of these 7,813,000 leaches would buy one ticket every 24 Years every game would be seen on local TV for the next quarter of a century. If one ticket every 24 years is to much for a "Bills Fan" to purchase then it's time for the NFL to move the Bills from Buffalo to market that will support the Bills. Come on Buffalo stop Crying and start Buying act like a major league city!! With respect to the handicap maybe the Bills could work out a deal with local theaters to broadcast the games at specific locations each week at no cost. The fat bottoms at GR get to watch the Bills for FREE (its work bs) so why shouldn't the handicap see the games for free. In fact why shouldn't the fat bottoms who bring their kids to their station not have to pay to watch the game. Forget the broadcast bs!.
Jim Worley [excerpt]:
Keep the blackout rule in place, maybe people will get up and do something constructive. If you need to see a game get a ticket
Johnny Jones Jr. [excerpt]:
WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR COUNTRY?? WE ARE BECOMING SO EVIL!!
For more public comments, see the FCC Electronic Filing System, docket 12-3.