Since their rebirth as a franchise in 1999, the Cleveland Browns have never had a local TV blackout.
That could change soon.
The Browns’ home game tomorrow against the Packers is already sold out, as is the Dec. 10 game against the Steelers. So those two games will be televised locally.
But the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the team has no plans to slash ticket prices, and tickets are still available for Cleveland’s four other remaining home games — against the Ravens on Nov. 16, the Chargers Dec. 6, the Raiders Dec. 27 and the Jaguars Jan. 3.
The Ravens game — a traditional rivalry against the franchise that moved out of Cleveland — might still sell out. But it’s hard to see why fans would flock to the stadium to see the Browns play the Chargers, Raiders or Jaguars — three games likely to feature two teams already eliminated from playoff contention, playing in bad weather.
And so the new Cleveland Browns franchise may experience something that the old Cleveland Browns franchise experienced regularly: A game in front of a less-than-full stadium, and no local TV audience.