The End of NFL Blackouts is Near

Blackout usually relates to the broadcasting of sports events, television programming, that is prohibited in a certain media market.

The NFL TV blackout policy states that for a game to be shown in the team’s local market. There were 16 blackouts in 2011.

Yesterday the Federal Communications Commission had started seeking public comment on eliminating its own rule.

Following is Commissioner McDowell’s statement:

“I am delighted that the Media Bureau is requesting comment on a petition seeking elimination  of the Commission’s rules that prohibit multichannel video programming distributors from  carrying a sporting event in a community if it is blacked out by the local broadcast station.   Taking a fresh look at this 36-year-old rule could be constructive as we look for rules to  streamline and modernize.  Over almost four decades, the economics and structure of both the  sports and communications industries have experienced dramatic evolutions.  We now live in a  world with not only local broadcast stations, but also cable, satellite, the Internet and wireless,  and where television and merchandizing revenues exceed ticket sales.  It is appropriate for us to  re-examine the rule in light of marketplace changes.”

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14 Responses to The End of NFL Blackouts is Near

  1. michele says:

    please lets stop the blackouts i enjoy watching the games and could not watch the bucks games at all plus others

  2. Darrel says:

    I dont believe they have the right to blackout any NFL games. If I am paying with my tax dollars for the Stadium and they are getting TAX breaks we r paying them enought. They r making 9 billion darrlsrs a year for the next 7 years they r making there money. my email is

  3. bobby cantrall says:

    The NFL should show some leniency in their “Blackouts” for the season. The economy is bad and is horrible is some NFL towns. The people in these towns can’t afford to go to NFL games. They want to watch their local NFL team on television, but they cannot. The NFL has a rule that states if your NFL team does not sell out by Thursday the team will be blacked out on television. This is a horrible ordeal for NFL fans that live in the NFL cities that have been hit the hardest by the bad economy.
    In Tampa for instance, unemployment stands at 12.3 percent. This is including the whole Tampa area which includes St. Petersburg. Tampa has been injured by the economy just like each other major city. They have also been hit by the oil spill in the gulf. Many people have lost their jobs and been affected by the fears of oil reaching the beaches in St. Petersburg and the surrounding area. Many people are out of work and they can’t afford tickets to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the Tampa Bay Rays. They would however appreciate being healthy to watch their NFL home team play on their television. They can watch the Tampa Bay Rays on their televisions. Why not NFL games of their Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
    The NFL has a right to do what they want to do. They are a business and they can “Blackout” all NFL cities who do not sell out their stadiums. There are eleven NFL teams who anticipate to have “Blackouts” during the 2010 season. There are only ten NFL teams who have all their games sold out. This means one third of all NFL teams have a chance to see a “Blackout” of their NFL team. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have already been blacked out for their home opener on Sunday.
    I am one of the lucky few who will not be affected by the “Blackouts”. I am an in seat vendor for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Tampa Bay Rays. I am the guy who sells the costly beer to the people who actually have enough money and can watch NFL football in Tampa this week. On the other hand, I have to work three jobs to make a living. I am in the service industry and my pay has been cut thirty-five percent because of the bad economy.
    It is hard for unemployed nfl fans to watch star players sign large contracts during a bad economy. Tom Brady signs a contract for seventy-two millions of which forty-eight million is guaranteed. Tell this to an unemployed worker who is fighting for a job. There are five applicants for each acquirable job. Than tell this same unemployed worker he can’t watch his NFL home team on television. To make matters worse, you “Blackout” his home game because the NFL fan can’t afford to purchase a ticket to an NFL game. Than rub superstar contracts into the grappling of the NFL fan. See if you can alienate as many NFL fans as possible.
    NFL owners and Mr. Commissioner of the NFL the NFL fans have something for you to listen to. (Roger Goodell is the NFL commissioner for those of you who do not know). You have a great product called NFL football. You have fans all over the world. There are fans who can no longer afford to purchase a ticket to your NFL stadiums. They live in places that have been blasted by a horrible economy. Maybe it is time you look beyond how rich and important the NFL believes they are. I worked Super Bowls. I know how important the large wigs in the NFL believe they are. Maybe it is time you look at the NFL fans. They purchased your products for many years and prefabricated you rich. When many of them have lost their jobs and are down, you stick your noses up in the air at them. Think to yourselves for a minute. Do you really believe the fans you decided to “Blackout” will come back to your NFL stadiums when they get their jobs back? Do the right thing and remove the “Blackouts” until the economy is better. Use it as a large NFL publicity stunt. Show NFL fans you have a heart. Make a good business decision that will keep your NFL fans happy.

  4. sonya says:

    yes i hope this goes through. Blackouts are out right stilling from the american people who pay not only for the staduims, their service for tv and taxes that don’t. stop. This is all about the big man getting bigger and it needs to stop.

  5. john r. says:

    get rid of the N.F.L. black out.i help pay for the stadium the bucks play is wrong to back me out when i help fund them and the stadium. or let me opt. out of me tax dollars going to pay for it.

  6. Jaylcee says:

    It is a slap in the face to all taxpayers who pay for the new stadiums, and are prevented from watching the games because they can not afford the price of the tickets, or can not attend personally.
    Our taxes are not reduced proportionately every time a game is blacked out.
    Isn’t this another case of “taxation without representation??”

  7. paul says:

    I as a fan of the bucs for many years i think that its all about the MONEY !! for the owners, fans are what make thier paychecks or their trips any where in the world they want to go !!! us as fans should stop even though for most of us cant afford to go to the games and on Sundays really look to watching to a good football game and to relax after a long work week.(STOP THE BLACKOUTS !!!!????!!!!)

  8. Tom Huth says:

    I am in my 60s and have absolutely no desire to attend games for a myriad of reasons ranging from my health, to crowds, to drunken fans, to preferring to consume my own snacks and drinks and use my own facilities.

    Being an avid BUCS fan, I also feel like I get much more out of a game when I can watch instant replay and listen to expert commentary (instead of listening to the drunk 3 rows behind me spew foul language).

    Blackouts hurt the game as they help to erode the fan base. As a taxpayer, why should I fund a stadium that I will never attend. Can I blackout my tax payment because the game didn’t show up?

    The NFL needs to restructure their TV deals (yeah I know this just occurred recently) to include some kind of per capita fee they receive from the networks when normally blacked-out games are shown on TV and result in increased viewership. This added viewership should allow the networks to charge more for advertizing. This way both the network and the NFL will receive additional compensation from these non-blacked out games.

  9. Chris Fuller says:

    Our tax dollars pay for the stadiums, yet we can’t watch the games. What is wrong with this picture? I am sure Congress and the FCC are in the NFL’s pockets and nothing will change.

  10. Tom Brady says:

    I have had a hard time understanding how the networks would give up advertising money in lieu of ticket sales. I think some of these guys could use a colonoscopy to find out where their heads are.

  11. Zoe says:

    The ticket prices have become very high for a juegos de futbol, after all we who pay the taxes which are built these stadiums

  12. The Blackouts need to be lifted it is the taxpayers who pay for both the Bengals and the Reds Stadiums and I don’t see a sellout on the Reds nor do I see a Blackout.We love the Bengals and have stuck by them reguardless they are on the right track I hope they keep it up so give them the same oppertunity that is afforded the Reds and lets all watch so Football.

  13. lakevacations says:

    The Loss of memories need to be lifted it is the taxpayers who achieve for both the Bengals and the Reds Arenas and I don’t see a consumer preference study on the Reds nor do I see an Amnesia.

  14. I do not like blackouts i like watching the games and could not watch the bucks games,

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