The first home playoff game of the post-Peyton Manning may not be televised in Indianapolis.
The Colts have announced that 4,500 unsold tickets remain in advance of Thursday’s extended deadline to sell all non-premium seats. If the tickets aren’t sold by 4:35 p.m. ET, the game will be blacked out in and around Indianapolis.
The first 24-hour extension resulted from the New Year’s Day holiday. In theory, another extension is possible.
Typically, extensions are granted only when a commitment has been made to purchase any remaining tickets at 34 cents. (We’ve asked the NFL whether the 34-cent option applies to unsold postseason tickets.)
Potential blackouts also are looming in Cincinnati and Green Bay. If all three games aren’t televised locally, the wild-card weekend will have more blackouts than all 17 weeks of the regular season, combined.
The fans in those three cities deserve to see the games. If the NFL won’t lift the blackout policy for the postseason, then the billionaires who own the teams should buy the extra tickets, either at 34 or 100 cents on the dollar.
Failure to do so could give considerable momentum to the FCC’s plan to drop the curtain on the blackout policy. Then again, that may already be inevitable.
Also inevitable is a potential eruption from Mt. Irsay, who surely is dismayed at the lack of local support for his team.