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Through five weeks, blackouts are at only five percent

For all the hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing regarding the possibility of rampant local blackouts in 2009, the hard numbers paint a much prettier picture.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy points out in his Twitter page that, of 76 total games through Week Five, only four have been blacked out.

They were both Jaguars home games (vs. Cardinals in Week Two and vs. Titans in Week Four), the Week Three Redskins-Lions game in Detroit, and the Week Three Broncos-Raiders game in Oakland. 

This week, no games are blacked out, thanks to the Steelers playing at their home away from home (Detroit . . . by the way, did you know Jerome Bettis is from Detroit?), the Jaguars and Raiders playing on the road, and the Chargers are on a bye.

McCarthy points out that the 95-percent sellout rate is higher than the figure from five years ago (89 percent) and ten years ago (86 percent).

But things could get worse as the year goes on.  This year, plenty of bad teams already have emerged:  the Lions, Chiefs, Raiders, Buccaneers, Browns, and Rams.  Also, while the Chargers currently are 2-2, ongoing sluggish play could make it harder to sell those final 2,000 non-premium seats that the Chargers scramble to sell nearly every week.

Come November or December, there might be a few UFL-style crowds in cold-weather cities with teams who hopes have been long since dead and buried.

For now, though, the blackout phenomenon has been nearly as rare as sightings of the Great Pumpkin.

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11 Responses to “Through five weeks, blackouts are at only five percent”
  1. Twiz says: Oct 9, 2009 4:50 PM

    Dayum Lord Florio, you can’t say anything bad about Favre anymore so now you are making “Blackouts” your new topic to generate hits?
    What a crock! Glad I only come here for laffs!

  2. Pudge Heffelfinger says: Oct 9, 2009 4:56 PM

    I wonder if the influx of “snowbirds” will help with ticket sales in Tampa and Jacksonville.

  3. VN says: Oct 9, 2009 4:56 PM

    Cities can no longer claim to have the ‘greatest football fans’ if they fail to sell out 8 home games every year. I’m looking at your Oakland. And I don’t want to hear how supporting the owner is like supporting Darth Vader – not good enough.
    Say what you will about the Browns franchise (and there is a lot to say), but that fanbase would sell-out every game even if the team went 0-16.
    Wow, did you guys notice my attempts of sarcasm and wit in my unnecessary addendums to my point? (aka, trying to be a douche.) I’m writing more and more like Florio everyday.

  4. Florios_for_breakfast says: Oct 9, 2009 4:57 PM

    way to go Flo…
    “Detroit . . . by the way, did you know Jerome Bettis is from Detroit?”
    Did you come up with that knee slapper all by yourself or stick to your usual guns of re-running someone else’s take ERR Jim Rome and the Clones. Your as original as an episode of Family Guy. Keep the speculation and post coming though. It gets me through the day!

  5. DJ Proteus says: Oct 9, 2009 5:52 PM

    Broncos and Raiders blacked out. My how times haved changed.

  6. buzzbissinger says: Oct 9, 2009 6:01 PM

    Yes, I know, the economy is in the toilet, ticket prices only go up or level off, yet games continue to sell out. All more evidence that the NFL is corperate.

  7. buzzbissinger says: Oct 9, 2009 6:12 PM

    @VN
    You have suceeded in you attempt to be a douche. I don’t EVER recall Raider fans claiming to be, ‘greatest football fans’. But you’ve found a way to shoehorn some Raider bashing in. They really need that, thanks bro.

  8. comment_submission_error says: Oct 9, 2009 7:38 PM

    How do teams like Carolina and Tennessee miss your Bad Team Emerging list? Four weeks in with no wins makes you a bad team.

  9. Bigike55 says: Oct 9, 2009 11:48 PM

    Florio before you dis the UFL. WATCH IT. it will be a good league for young talent to get some real game time.

  10. R8R_BOB says: Oct 9, 2009 11:57 PM

    VN says:
    October 9, 2009 4:56 PM
    Cities can no longer claim to have the ‘greatest football fans’ if they fail to sell out 8 home games every year. I’m looking at your Oakland. And I don’t want to hear how supporting the owner is like supporting Darth Vader – not good enough.
    Say what you will about the Browns franchise (and there is a lot to say), but that fanbase would sell-out every game even if the team went 0-16.
    ————————————————-
    I find it funny that you would compare Cleveland with Oakland. There is nothing in Cleveland to keep the Browns fans away but in Oakland if the RAIDERS sux then you can go to S.F., Santa Cruz, Monterey, Big Sur, hell I will even throw San Josie in there. My point is that if the team sucks, then there are other things one can do to pass the time. Can people in Cleveland do the same? …nope.

  11. spyboots says: Oct 10, 2009 5:31 PM

    @ Pudge Heffelfinger – “I wonder if the influx of “snowbirds” will help with ticket sales in Tampa and Jacksonville.”
    Only if their own HOME team is playing the Bucs or Jags.

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