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League won't change blackout rule

In an announcement that should surprise absolutely no one, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday that the league is not considering adjusting their blackout rule.

The announcement came during a meeting at league headquarters in New York City with a gaggle of big-time reporters like Tom Curran of NBCSports.com and PFT.  (Meanwhile, I’m typing just two miles away while wearing shorts and a t-shirt.)

Teams will still have to sell out games 72 hours in advance of their game for the game to be televised locally.  Goodell specifically expressed concern in the lack of ticket sales in Jacksonville, but he said the blackout policy isn’t going to change.

That means Jaguars’ fans will either have to pony up dollars to watch their team play live or pay for enough gas to drive far enough away from Jacksonville to watch them on television.

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35 Responses to “League won't change blackout rule”
  1. hayward giablommi says: Sep 3, 2009 5:08 PM

    Greggy-poo, I think this was reported yesterday.
    In other news, Roger Goodell still sucks.

  2. SteelersPSU says: Sep 3, 2009 5:14 PM

    Unless I am mistaken, there is a third option. Wouldn’t a person living in Jacksonville have the option to watch the game on DirectTV’s NFL package? Or does the NFL blackout include paying customers as well?

  3. Levito says: Sep 3, 2009 5:16 PM

    maybe so, but Jags fans suck too. Support your damn team, before they become the L.A. Jaguars.

  4. xscottx says: Sep 3, 2009 5:19 PM

    maybe they should lower their ticket prices to get those tickets sold. supply and no demand
    i learneded that on my 1st day of Harvurd Bizness School

  5. Zox says: Sep 3, 2009 5:21 PM

    With an opportunity for the NFL to give back to the fans in trying times, they offer up a big FU.

  6. Mastro says: Sep 3, 2009 5:22 PM

    Why would the NFL head quarters be sensitive to the current economic slide, they only laid off 30% of their employees..
    This is rediculous, NOT EVERYBODY CAN AFFORD to go to football games, taking the tv screen is just going to make everybody a fan of another team, in the case of Jacksonville with the team only being around for a little more than 10 years, most of these people are already fans of the Falcons, Dolphins, or Bucs.. or are Gator fans and could care less about the NFL. Blacking out the games IS NOT going to help sell tickets.

  7. Zidane Valor says: Sep 3, 2009 5:28 PM

    http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/global/contentPage.jsp?assetId=900046
    No. If a game is subject to local blackout, it is subject to NFL Sunday Ticket blackout as well.

  8. LionsFan says: Sep 3, 2009 5:28 PM

    So long as you’re within the black out radius, the game will also be blacked out on your DirectTV NFL Sunday Ticket package. The only work around is to lie about where you live.
    I understand the rationale behind the black out rule, but nothing kills interest in a local team like not being able to watch them on TV. Just ask the Chicago Blackhawks how well that worked out for them.

  9. Fan_Of_ Four says: Sep 3, 2009 5:31 PM

    L.A. Jags ?
    I know, lets play more games in the U.K.

  10. utbutte says: Sep 3, 2009 5:32 PM

    FIRST PLACE WINNER: OWNER GREED
    LAST PLACE LOSERS: NFL FANS
    It shall be ever thus. Deal with it.

  11. LightsOut56 says: Sep 3, 2009 5:35 PM

    @SteelersPSU: The blackout does cover paid packages like NFL Sunday Ticket as well.
    The only third option I am aware of is something I read in an earlier comment. Apparently the RedZone channel ignores blackouts. So you can watch part of the game at least.

  12. Hap says: Sep 3, 2009 5:37 PM

    Did you really expect The NFL to change it’s policy ? That means less money in their pockets. I hate to say it, but it’s not just a game, it’s a business. Yes I’m stating the obvious. Wanna see it ? Go to the game.

  13. Hap says: Sep 3, 2009 5:38 PM

    On the other hand, Colin Cowherd says that fans are worth more to their teams at home watching the game vs being there. You’ll have to ask him about his logic.

  14. ras6111 says: Sep 3, 2009 5:52 PM

    Any word on the other teams with week 1 blackouts, Chargers, Vikings, Bills and 9 other teams? I can watch every game from my computer anyway!

  15. KonaGeneral says: Sep 3, 2009 5:54 PM

    This is, absolutely, one of the most idiotic rules in US sports. Especially with the economy today. If you don’t broadcast your game, you are “out of sight, out of mind” in the community.
    This is a slippery slope that will drive the team from the community. I’m no Jaguar fan but if the NFL is trying to get them to leave, this is the best way to do it.

  16. William Wallace says: Sep 3, 2009 5:59 PM

    The problem comes from the massive and ridiculous radius away from a local team’s stadium that dictates the blackout.
    For years the Chargers have been trying to build a presence in the Los Angeles tv market, and have had some success, but the blackouts kill it.
    I live in North Los Angeles county, 207 miles away from QualComm Stadium, yet Chargers games are blacked out here, and the NFL thinks I’m supposed to cruise on down 8 times a year or drive an hour and a half north to catch the game in Santa Barbara?
    Child, please…
    And it’s not like CBS shows an out-of-market game in its place. Nope, you’re watching PX90 Infomercials for four hours or finding something else to do entirely. The NFL is shooting itself in the foot on this one.

  17. ppdoc13 says: Sep 3, 2009 6:05 PM

    It’s not like this policy is new. It has been this way for decades. I guess the thought is that if the game is available for free on local TV why should you pay to go see the game…. Duhhh….
    Jax has had trouble supporting this team since their inception. Tagliabitch had to have another team in the southeast, as a matter of fact he had to have two. At least Charlotte has supported their team. This is just another reason that Tags was a lousy commish.
    The NFL could be a little more sensitive to their fans given the current economic climate, but they choose not to be. They have a great sport with a captive audience. Since the USFL folded, the NFL is essentially a monopoly with all due respect to the cfl and the arena league.
    This policy will never change. There is a much higher probability of finding cheap 50 yard line seats at Jax’s home opener. Which is why someday the NFL will encourage them to move to LA another great place that doesn’t give a crap about home team football.

  18. nybillsfan83 says: Sep 3, 2009 6:16 PM

    Ras61111
    The Bills aint Blacked out in week 1… Duh they basically sold the whole season out already,Not bad for a “depressed area with nothing”

  19. SpartaChris says: Sep 3, 2009 6:29 PM

    I mentioned this in the previous discussion on the topic, but if everyone decided to skip going to the game in favor of watching it on TV, chances are the team would wind up having to move.
    The simple fact is the NFL is a business and each teams is supposed to be self sustaining. Yes there is a revenue sharing pool to help those teams who struggle with generating revenues from time to time, but that pool is only going to go so far before the team will be “encouraged” to move by the other owners.
    As an aside, the NFL is also a product and you can’t reasonably expect the league to simply give that product away for free just because you don’t feel like going to the game. NFL teams are in the business of making money, not losing it, so if you want to stay home, great. Just don’t get upset when everyone else with your mindset causes you to miss your teams games.
    As far as the cost of ticket prices, I said previously that prices ought to come down enough to find a balance. It’s simple supply and demand- If you can’t sell something, make it cheaper until you can. Only increase prices when you know you can still sell your product. I had someone inform me that Jacksonville has already done this, but since I don’t live there or follow the Jags, I can’t confirm first hand.
    Something else to consider re: ticket prices is the small number of games played by the home team each season. Because teams only play 8 games per season at home, there’s only a small window of opportunity for them to generate profits and cover their overhead. While ticket prices can certainly be cheaper, they can only get so cheap before the team starts operating at a loss.
    In any event, while the blackout rule may be unpopular by some, it’s a smart business decision. Certainly it could have the negative effect of permanently losing some fans, but those fans probably weren’t spending money with you anyway.

  20. TLyons4 says: Sep 3, 2009 6:30 PM

    First off, the Bills are on the road Week 1. Second, they are playing a nationally televised game on Monday Night Football. But yeah, how is that blackout?

  21. SwedishMurderMachine says: Sep 3, 2009 6:32 PM

    So the NFL’s plan to increase fan interest in these areas is to make sure no one can see their local team on tv? If I was an average fan in Jaxsonville who attends 1 or 2 games a year this would just make me say FU NFL and attend 0.

  22. William Wallace says: Sep 3, 2009 6:34 PM

    Ras6111:
    Chargers are on the road Week 1, playing in Oakland.
    And it’s a MNF game.
    Which brings up an interesting question, do they black out nationally televised games?
    Would MNF or the NBC Night Game ever be blacked out in the home team’s market?

  23. gopack says: Sep 3, 2009 6:39 PM

    Cut out going out for dinner,have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch and a bowl of cereal for breakfast every day and you will be able to buy some football tickets. If you are a football fan you can trim some pork to be able to afford season or single game tickets.

  24. MrHumble says: Sep 3, 2009 6:49 PM

    Everyone knows by now that Goodell isn’t going to make any rule changes that would assist the smaller market teams……..now if it were a rule involving one of the Big Three (Steelers, Pats and Cowgurls) the change would have happened yesterday. Who else can let a freakin’ score board dangle above the field to comprise the integrity of the damn game but Gee Jerry Jones,…..the male Joan Rivers, LMAO. Mr. and Mrs. Plastic surgery.

  25. William Wallace says: Sep 3, 2009 7:06 PM

    SpartaChris:
    First, it’s not “giving it away for free” when televised games generate ad share revenue and the networks pay millions for the rights to show the games to begin with.
    Second, when fans have disposable income, they usually prefer to go to the games, regardless if it’s on tv or not. It’s an experience that cannot be matched by watching it on tv. Yet we’re now living in times where many folks are faced with the choice between paying bills or going to a game with their unemployment checks. It’s only a “captive” audience when the choice is between the NFL and basketball or hockey. When the choice is between the NFL and, oh, paying this month’s light bill, or gas for the week to get to work, that “captive” audience is making a jailbreak.
    We can do a little experiment.
    With the current threat of blackouts, if fans end up grudgingly buying the tickets and selling out those games because they’re “captive” and need to see it, then we know you and the NFL are right. If they sit it out and the stands are half-empty in those markets, then you and the NFL are wrong, and those “captive” fans have chosen to do something else entirely with their time, so the teams and the league won’t even be pulling in tv ad revenue in those markets, and will lose valuable exposure.
    Let’s see how it plays out.

  26. William Wallace says: Sep 3, 2009 7:10 PM

    My previous comment should be addressed to ppdoc13, not SpartaChris.
    My apologies.

  27. FireJerryJones says: Sep 3, 2009 10:02 PM

    Are there any Jaguar fans?
    Maybe the team should be on Public Television

  28. Bob Nelson says: Sep 3, 2009 10:59 PM

    If your team and fanbase sucks….too bad.
    Why change the rules for the Jaguars and vikings?
    This is a way to encourage them to move to more profitable areas.

  29. dEV says: Sep 4, 2009 2:42 AM

    It’s the stupidest attempt at extortion I’ve ever heard in my life.
    I want to watch the game on TV, ergo, I should buy a ticket to go to the game in person. Because if I don’t, I won’t be able to watch the game on TV.
    And if the game is not on TV, the local TV affiliate won’t collect any ad revenue from the game. Which means your local TV station must: 1) Pay a bunch of money to be the “home of the Jacksonville Jaguars” or whoever, 2) Attempt to program your station for Sunday afternoons knowing there’s a really good chance that the game won’t be shown, 3) Convince advertisers to buy airtime on a game that probably won’t air, 4) Give money back to advertisers when the game doesn’t show.
    Any station owner with a hint of sanity wouldn’t want to put up with that crap. Which drives down the value of being the “official home of the Oakland Raiders” or whoever, which means less money for the team.
    The last NFL game I went to cost $65 for a “cheap seat” end zone ticket, $20 to park, and was $7.50 for a beer and $4.00 for a bottle of water. I couldn’t see anything from my seats, got royally sunburnt and dehydrated, and worst of all was sober the entire time. I spent over $100 for an experience that bordered on misery.
    I can’t be two places at once. So you’re telling me that I better buy a ticket so that some jerk who’s smart enough NOT TO can watch the game on his couch at home for free?
    Somebody is out of touch with reality, and I don’t think it’s me.

  30. texasPHINSfan says: Sep 4, 2009 11:53 AM

    maybe they could….gasp…. LOWER TICKET PRICES and make games reasonably affordable to go to.

  31. footballrulz says: Sep 4, 2009 12:08 PM

    Actually, on DTV Ticket, even if the games not blacked out, if it is being shown in local markets you have to watch the local channel. At least that’s the way it was last year.
    At any rte with a down economy I think they should revise the blackout rule somehow. I just don’t see not being able to watch your team because you lost your job because idiot 28 year old MBA’s were making mortgage loans that everyone & their brother knew would go into default.

  32. SpartaChris says: Sep 4, 2009 12:38 PM

    William Wallace says:
    September 3, 2009 7:06 PM
    SpartaChris:
    First, it’s not “giving it away for free” when televised games generate ad share revenue and the networks pay millions for the rights to show the games to begin with.

    I didn’t say the network broadcasting the game is giving it away free. I said the team is essentially giving their product away free to viewers watching on TV at home. You’re not paying extra to watch the local team play on network television, are you? No, and neither is any one of the thousands (Or millions) of people watching the game from the comfort of their living rooms.
    Yes, that broadcast makes smart business sense in that it could parlay into increased merchandise or ticket sales later down the road, but there is no immediate compensation received by the team other than whatever they received through ticket, concession and merch sales. I will admit I don’t know what kind of licensing deal they have with the station broadcasting the game, but I’m sure they receive compensation there too.
    ——————————————————————————–
    Second, when fans have disposable income, they usually prefer to go to the games, regardless if it’s on tv or not. It’s an experience that cannot be matched by watching it on tv. Yet we’re now living in times where many folks are faced with the choice between paying bills or going to a game with their unemployment checks. It’s only a “captive” audience when the choice is between the NFL and basketball or hockey. When the choice is between the NFL and, oh, paying this month’s light bill, or gas for the week to get to work, that “captive” audience is making a jailbreak.
    Actually, I think many people who participated in this discussion over the past several months have proven that statement wrong. While I agree the live game experience is well worth the money, there’s a lot of people with disposable income who prefer to simply stay home and watch the game on their HDTV.
    ——————————————————————————–
    We can do a little experiment.
    With the current threat of blackouts, if fans end up grudgingly buying the tickets and selling out those games because they’re “captive” and need to see it, then we know you and the NFL are right. If they sit it out and the stands are half-empty in those markets, then you and the NFL are wrong, and those “captive” fans have chosen to do something else entirely with their time, so the teams and the league won’t even be pulling in tv ad revenue in those markets, and will lose valuable exposure.
    Let’s see how it plays out.

    There’s a third scenario- The whole idea behind the blackout rule is to create fear of loss. It’s basically a last ditch effort to drive ticket sales. If the blackouts can’t inspire ticket sales, chances are the locals really don’t care that much about the team. Showing the game on local TV isn’t going to change the way people feel about the local team, and if the teams can’t sell tickets in their market, they’re probably going to wind up moving to a market that will support ticket sales.

  33. Jack in the Jack says: Sep 4, 2009 12:44 PM

    The Jaguars have the best stadium deal in the NFL. The taxpayers in Jacksonville pay for it and they play in it. You can’t beat that. The people in Jax love the Weavers. They are the real Mayors of Duval. John Peyton sucks and he is the main reason of the economic downslide in Jax. There were no blackouts before that stupid SOB took office. He completely screwed up the Better Jacksonville plan and he can’t put together a budget with the extra one percent tax hike we voted for that was supposed to be used for upgrades in the city. God bless you Wayne and Delores Weaver and please run for mayor and free this city from that extra chromosone carrier of a mayor we have now.

  34. SpartaChris says: Sep 4, 2009 12:54 PM

    @dEV-
    The flaw in your logic is this- How do you expect the team to stay in business in your area if no one goes to the game?
    If half the people stay home because they’d rather watch it from the couch than go out and support their team, that team won’t be able to afford to stay in business. No ticket/concession sales means no money and no money means the team is going to start looking for a more supportive market.
    But hey, when your local team leaves town, you won’t have to worry about not being able to catch the game. Just get Sunday Ticket and you’ll be good! Of course it will make it harder and more expensive to attend games played by your favorite team should you so desire, but hey, you won’t ever have to leave the couch if you don’t want to!

  35. William Wallace says: Sep 5, 2009 4:41 PM

    Sparta Chris says:
    There’s a third scenario- The whole idea behind the blackout rule is to create fear of loss. It’s basically a last ditch effort to drive ticket sales. If the blackouts can’t inspire ticket sales, chances are the locals really don’t care that much about the team. Showing the game on local TV isn’t going to change the way people feel about the local team, and if the teams can’t sell tickets in their market, they’re probably going to wind up moving to a market that will support ticket sales.

    —————
    That’s actually not a third scenario, it’s pretty much fully covered in what I initially said, and is little more than a reiteration of your previous point. It has nothing to do with whether the blackouts can inspire ticket sales in their own right, but if they can inspire ticket sales among a public that doesn’t have the money to spend on things like that any more. It has little to do with “interest” in the local team and everything to do with a sour economy that doesn’t look to improve any time soon for the average fan. Your answer speaks to a time not too long ago, when all things were equal and there was more money to spend on recreation. Those days are gone for a growing number of people, and they don’t look to return any time soon. Allowing the games to be shown will at least keep the product (the team) exposed to those interested in them, instead of shutting it off altogether, so when times do get better, guess where they’ll spend their extra money?
    And when you say “they’re going to wind up moving to a market that will support them” when 12 teams are facing numerous blackouts in 2009, I really don’t think you know what you’re talking about. I guarantee 2010 will see upwards of 20 teams under blackout threat. What then, genius? Where are they all going to move to? New York?
    Don’t say LA because any city dumb enough to fall for a team trying to leverage a move to Los Angeles is dumber than dirt. With a 15% and rising unemployment rate it would be jumping from the frying pan into the fire.
    Besides, if you’d bother to read the post right below the one you quoted, you’d see I mistook you for another commenter I’d meant to respond to.
    But it’s obvious reading comprehension is not among your strong suits…

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