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NFL launches clumsy effort to defend blackout rule

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At a time when the NFL faces the potential elimination of its blackout rule, the league has embarked on an effort to prevent limitations on the ability to refuse to telecast games in the local market if those contests aren’t “sold out.”  (More on what “sold out” actually means later.)

Via a website that carries no NFL logos or trademarks or other copyrighted materials, but with a privacy policy that links directly to NFL.com, the league calls its effort “Protect Football on Free TV.”  The league has enlisted Hall of Famer Lynn Swann (and possibly others) to spread the word; Swann recently did so in an appearance on WXYZ-TV in Detroit.

If it’s not broken,” Swann said, “what are they trying to fix?  We have full stadiums, people come to the games.  We’re the only sport where fans who don’t get to the game can watch it on free over-the-air television.”

Unless, of course, the game isn’t sold out.  If that happens, it’s not available on any television, free or otherwise.

“The blackout rule helps support that, and it supports our broadcast partners,” Swann said, without explaining how being required to run three hours of P90X ads instead of the home game in the local market actually helps the broadcast partners.

“A full stadium means enthusiastic players, enthusiastic fans,” Swann said.  “It means the announcers are enthusiastic.  Everybody benefits all the way around.”

But the current blackout rule already allows every game to be played in something other than a full stadium.  Only non-premium seats are included in the calculation of a sellout, and each team can now reduce its obligation to 85 percent of all non-premium seats.

So the blackout rule encourages full stadiums even though full stadiums no longer are required.

Swann calls the effort a “coalition” that allows fans to contact the FCC and to support the status quo, which will allow the league to prevent a free local telecast of games that aren’t sold out.  The website contends that the attack on the blackout rule comes from a bogeyman as real and tangible as the love child of the Abominable Snowman and Bigfoot.

Pay-TV lobbyists have manufactured a controversy in an effort to change the current rule and charge fans for games that they currently watch for free.

We cannot let these special interests dictate what is best for NFL fans and their communities

- See more at: http://www.protectfootballonfreetv.com/#who-opposes-free-football-on-tv

“Pay-TV lobbyists have manufactured a controversy in an effort to change the current rule and charge fans for games they currently watch for free,” the website contends.  “We cannot let these special interests dictate what is best for NFL fans and their communities.”

So instead the special interest that is the NFL will dictate what is best for NFL fans and their communities by concocting a phony threat to the ability to watch games on free TV.

“Pay-TV lobbyists”?  Which “Pay-TV” companies are hiring lobbyists to fight the blackout rule, and why should anyone believe that the NFL would do business with those “Pay-TV” companies if they win?

Pay-TV lobbyists have manufactured a controversy in an effort to change the current rule and charge fans for games that they currently watch for free.

We cannot let these special interests dictate what is best for NFL fans and their communities.

- See more at: http://www.protectfootballonfreetv.com/#who-opposes-free-football-on-tv

It’s the best the NFL can do, because there’s no actual connection between preventing the local broadcast of games absent a full stadium and protecting the ability to televise of games on free TV.  Without tangible evidence showing why and how a rule requiring home games to be televised on free TV in the local market regardless of attendance harms the ability to televise games on free TV generally, the effort will look and feel like a bass-ackward strategy for allowing the NFL to continue to do what it wants.

The NFL wants to maximize ticket sales, and the NFL wants to be able to put the squeeze on markets in which the tickets haven’t been sold.  Ultimately, the NFL doesn’t want the government or anyone else telling the NFL what it can and can’t do.  .

The reality, as noted earlier today, is that any significant reduction of the ability to watch games on free TV would invite far more serious governmental action via the scuttling of the broadcast antitrust exemption.  Overturning the broadcast antitrust exemption would allow networks to negotiate with teams like the Cowboys, Patriots, and Steelers directly Notre Dame-style packages.  That would create a dramatic income discrepancy among teams and little or no market for plenty of the 256 regular-season games to be televised anywhere, for free or otherwise.

That’s the last thing the NFL wants.  Thus, the last thing that ever will happen is the disappearance of NFL games on free TV, regardless of whether the blackout rule lives or dies.

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96 Responses to “NFL launches clumsy effort to defend blackout rule”
  1. bostonfrogs says: Jun 16, 2014 10:48 PM

    I guess that “Swan” is Latin for “Weasel”.

  2. bobulated says: Jun 16, 2014 10:51 PM

    Any team that hasn’t received public subsidies for their stadium should be allowed to have blackouts. But since that is no NFL team, until the owners repay local taxpayers their corporate welfare, there should be no such thing as a local blackout.

  3. richc111 says: Jun 16, 2014 10:55 PM

    wow do they think we are stupid?

  4. adm350 says: Jun 16, 2014 10:56 PM

    If they wanna req sell outs, why don’t the regulate things like parking fees, $20 hot dogs….etc. they have no prob gauging people. What about peeps that can’t afford tix. Are they not fans too?

  5. nomoreseasontix says: Jun 16, 2014 10:58 PM

    I think the continued use of the blackout rule should call into question the NFL’s anti-trust exemption.

    They’re going to lose the exemption at some point, it may as well be over the idiotic blackout rule.

  6. captainwisdom8888 says: Jun 16, 2014 10:58 PM

    If you no lemme watch mah fooball..Imma gon’ hurt somebody reallll baddd like.

  7. realnflmaster says: Jun 16, 2014 11:00 PM

    In two years time the patriots will have 8 straight blacked out home games.

  8. mrtullymars says: Jun 16, 2014 11:00 PM

    Roger Goodell is a politician. He is a complete 180-degrees from Rozelle and Tagliabue, and that’s a shame.

  9. slickzmoney says: Jun 16, 2014 11:01 PM

    If any public money was used to build/renovate a stadium then all games should be on TV in that city period.

  10. wwwmattcom says: Jun 16, 2014 11:01 PM

    I wish my TV was FREE!

    Make NFL pay per view. One less thing to do on Sunday.

    College football Saturday. Forget the NFL.

  11. qdog112 says: Jun 16, 2014 11:03 PM

    “We cannot let these special interests dictate what is best for NFL fans and their communities.”
    Boy that sounds familiar. Every time there’s a massive “money grab” about to take place (tax breaks for the rich, a war based on lies), you name it.

    They always blame special interest groups so we can get mad at them, while they rob us blind. They know it works, so why fix it if it ain’t broke? That’s their motto.

  12. nomoreseasontix says: Jun 16, 2014 11:04 PM

    “If you no lemme watch mah fooball..Imma gon’ hurt somebody reallll baddd like”

    See? Fans are even posting in pidgin from New Guinea or someplace.

    It’s a hot topic. But I don’t think they show NFL games in New Guinea, much less black them out.

  13. pittspuke7 says: Jun 16, 2014 11:08 PM

    Do you realize since the steelers lost to Tim Tebow in the playoffs they have 0 playoff wins and 0 winning records? Ha

  14. McFaddensPulledHammy says: Jun 16, 2014 11:13 PM

    Roger speaks for the owners. The owners don’t want half empty stadiums and the game on local TV. If you owned the Bills, Raiders, or Cardinals, would you?

  15. theauger says: Jun 16, 2014 11:17 PM

    If a team plays in a publicly funded stadium, whether partially or completely, it should have no right to blackout home games in it’s region.

  16. icdogg says: Jun 16, 2014 11:18 PM

    1950s and 1960s movie theaters used to have petitions to “stop pay TV. ” It was similarly misleading. Implied that we were going to have to pay for what we were already getting for free. Of course, the theaters considered cable to be a threat.

  17. 52lightsxout52 says: Jun 16, 2014 11:23 PM

    Eventually all NFL games will wind up behind some sort of pay window, whether it’s pay-per-view, or on cable tv. The traditional networks all have their own channels on cable, so it’s inevitable. Just look at what happened to the college bowl games, the NCAA Basketball Tournament, and the NBA playoffs. The league will continue to look for more ways to increase revenues to keep pace with increasing operating costs [including player salaries].

  18. gborange says: Jun 16, 2014 11:24 PM

    Without the local team on free TV, people will watch something else and become even less of fans of local team thus further driving down ticket sales. If u want fans, the fans must be exposed to the team through free TV!

  19. carpi2 says: Jun 16, 2014 11:29 PM

    The NFL is becoming too corporate. Believe it or not, at some point, their antics will alienate the casual football fan. Look no further then NASCAR to see the effects of what happens when a sports industry alienates their core fan base. It wasn’t too long ago that NASCAR was the fastest growing “sport (I use that term loosely)” in America.

  20. dadsource says: Jun 16, 2014 11:34 PM

    Why not just let us pay $10 per blacked out home game? I can’t drive over an hour to pay $20 to park a mile away, then pay $10 for a beer and have ignorant idiots Pissing me off. I’ll get arrested!

  21. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 16, 2014 11:34 PM

    “Everyone benefits all the way around, but I benefit more than anyone else, and I approve that message.”.

  22. vottorific says: Jun 16, 2014 11:37 PM

    Mr Forio. You go dude. I agree, 120%. We don’t want or need the government involved in private corps. BUT. The blackout rule is horsepucky. Especially for public funded stadiums. Hear that Mike Brown? Getting filthy rich off my dime. The Games should be free on tv. Or pay for your own stadium.

  23. ariani1985 says: Jun 16, 2014 11:37 PM

    But how does this work in area that don’t have tvs like green bay?

  24. luz56 says: Jun 16, 2014 11:40 PM

    I had 6 seats that went to 4 seats that are now 2 seats…..I am as big of a football fan as there is but I can get my football fix on TV…true point if taxpayers dollars have gone to build there should be some sort of lifting the blackout…I look around the league where there are lots of empty seats and wonder where the NFL is heading.. Love my 70″ screen … It’s like being right at the stadium!!

  25. pats1944 says: Jun 16, 2014 11:40 PM

    Back before the TV contracts were huge, owners needed to sell tickets to make money. Now all the money comes from TV contracts so whats the point to the rule

  26. ravenswinsuperbowl47 says: Jun 16, 2014 11:42 PM

    “bobulated says:
    Jun 16, 2014 10:51 PM
    Any team that hasn’t received public subsidies for their stadium should be allowed to have blackouts. But since that is no NFL team, until the owners repay local taxpayers their corporate welfare, there should be no such thing as a local blackout.”

    ———————————————–

    Say what?

    How much more Federal government intrusion will there be? What’s the relevance of public financing of stadiums? 32 owners have banded together to provide the best sports product in history. One reason the NFL has grown successfully has been the blackout rule.

    This freeloading mentality has gotten out of hand: either buy a ticket to the game, or listen to it on the radio if it doesn’t sell out. No freebies for those who won’t support the home team. Straightforward and fair approach,

  27. harrycanyon says: Jun 16, 2014 11:44 PM

    This seems more like a reverse campaign in ensure the NFL is pay per view in the view in the very near future. I will be done at that point.

  28. westandwest3805 says: Jun 16, 2014 11:55 PM

    Someone please help me understand how taking away viewers helps the NFL stations that broadcast the games. I do not get it..

  29. 2dimesandanickelback says: Jun 16, 2014 11:55 PM

    If I ever were to find out a game in my local market was going to be blacked out the very last thing I would do would be to buy a ticket….The blackout rule is ridiculous, and games should be shown no matter the attendance. I’m sorry if I prefer my couch, my home cooked food, and my $1 beers instead of the stadium atmosphere, but the league should still respect that we are all still tuning in to watch the game…(especially those of us with the DirecTV package, which can STILL be susceptible to local market blackouts even though we pay 300 bucks a year for “all” the games).

  30. unamedsources says: Jun 16, 2014 11:56 PM

    Lynn Swann, soft.

  31. dbmfins says: Jun 17, 2014 12:07 AM

    It seems to me that the NFL is already on pay-tv. It’s called the “Sunday NFL Ticket” on DIRECTV. However, even though I pay hundreds of dollars a year to watch “free” football, I still do not get the local team that is blacked-out. At the very least, the NFL should not be allowed to blackout games on a subscription service such as the NFL Sunday Ticket.

  32. Aaron Rodgers Has Tiny Hands says: Jun 17, 2014 12:17 AM

    I didn’t really understand any of that, but if it helps those poor Packer fans watch their playoff games on TV when they can’t sell out the high school stadium they play in, I’m all for it.

  33. silverandblack052099 says: Jun 17, 2014 12:49 AM

    I don’t care, Blackouts don’t exist where I live.

    Seriously though, If the NFL lowered ticket prices, parking fees, concessions and prices on merchandise at the stadium maybe attendance would go up across the board.

  34. mikebrownistheworstownerinprosports says: Jun 17, 2014 12:52 AM

    The NFL would never charge to watch. It’d be foolish. They’d lose millions of fans including me. This is just a scare tactic and something to distract fans from the real reason for blackouts: Greed.

  35. natelan says: Jun 17, 2014 12:56 AM

    Swann is both a Republican and an idiot. Do the math.

  36. smackingfools says: Jun 17, 2014 1:17 AM

    Stupid rule. Especially when you pay for Sunday ticket to watch your team and it’s still blacked out because you don’t get the local channels.

  37. jjfootball says: Jun 17, 2014 1:35 AM

    IF THE STUPID BLACKOUT RULE WORKED, THERE WOULD NEVER BE A GAME BLACKED OUT!

  38. drunkraider says: Jun 17, 2014 1:38 AM

    The NFL makes what, 4 billion a year? infact they make so much the commish gave himself like a 20 million dollar raise?

    but the people whos tax money builds stadiums cant watch their home team if it doesnt sell out?

    isnt that like giving sombody 5 bucks to punch you in the face?

  39. donschmidt72 says: Jun 17, 2014 1:44 AM

    pay-per-view killed boxing!!! Who fights who anymore! just saying nfl

  40. heavywoody says: Jun 17, 2014 1:45 AM

    I have a thought…quit charging so much for people to go see the games!!! The NFL makes like 9.6 billion a year with all their deals. I realize that is gross. But do teams REALLY need to milk every nickle out of the fans who go to the games? The TV Contracts pay enough. Just make the games more affordable and more people will go.

  41. deezenucks says: Jun 17, 2014 1:57 AM

    I watch plenty of free NHL without going to games. I don’t think he can say their the only sport…

  42. damcmp says: Jun 17, 2014 2:11 AM

    Yes………they think we are stupid. they have proof…most of the fans buy everything they are sold…I mean told

  43. mcba1n says: Jun 17, 2014 2:23 AM

    Dear NFL – grow up and adapt. It’s crap to expect a city to not only build a stadium, it’s crap when you expect fans to pay 20$ just to park their car – and that doesn’t even include what it costs to get into the game! And that’s after you already defunded schools, social programs or tax incentives to get businesses to go to your city! It’s a double slap to the working class folk that don’t have 10 billion dollars laying around.

    Media has changed. It’s stupid easy to pirate games now (as one Tampa bar had to do). Embrace new media – embrace that your biggest supporters that are struggling just to pay rent. When you go the MLB/Yankess 2k/seat route – you will lose fans. Maybe not TODAY – but for the next generation.

    Be accessible to your fans or you will have none. The FCC is dated as is current blackout rules. PERIOD. When you lose the common folk with no money, you lose the fan. Without the fan – you have what? 0. Wake up and grow up.

  44. Savage Lizard says: Jun 17, 2014 2:51 AM

    The blackout rule is BS. I live 100+ miles from San Diego, but the Chargers get blacked out here because L.A. is a secondary market. I have season tickets, but only go to about half the games and sell the other tickets to my friends who live there. So even though I am responsible for two butts in seats and live 2 1/2 hours away, I still can’t watch.

  45. raiders4ever says: Jun 17, 2014 3:35 AM

    NFL teams dont care if the game is sold out or not every NFL owner makes there money from TV revenue …and each team gets the same its divided up from the revenue sharing …the only time less tickets sold makes a dent is between the 2 teams that play where its not sold the home teams gets 80 percent of food sodas beer and the visitors get 20 percent…but the big money like i said is in TV revenue sharing so they have no worries what so ever as far as making profits there huge

  46. ytrappin504 says: Jun 17, 2014 4:56 AM

    I’ve never been blacked out from a game I’ve wanted To watch and do you know why? Cuz I know how to pirate any game I want on the internet for free while you nubs sit around paying for premium football packages. I suggest you all buy a laptop that comes with hdmi and a tv that takes hdmi and start streaming your games. My Sundays consist of waiting for my favorite team to play meanwhile watching nfl redone( for free fantasy football purposes) while tuning in on every game going on if no one is scoring on redzone.

    Couldn’t be happier to get more football for the absolute best fee (free)

  47. 4grammarpolice says: Jun 17, 2014 5:16 AM

    Cliff Branch > Lynn Swann

  48. SparkyGump says: Jun 17, 2014 5:38 AM

    The problem is the large area considered a teams “market”. Some areas exceed 150 miles. By restricting access to games, the NFL shows it cares about fans alright…they ones with money. Not everyone can afford to take their family to a game. Keep squeezing that goose, Roger, one day she may very well die.

  49. tinytoolalldrool says: Jun 17, 2014 5:49 AM

    I wonder how much they paid him to say that.

  50. olcap says: Jun 17, 2014 6:13 AM

    I’m upset that a guy like Swann would get mixed up in this idiotic scheme which does nothing more than insult the intelligence of an overwhelming number of NFL fans.

    It doesn’t even make a bit of sense that having a game that isn’t sold out being broadcast in the home market morphs into the end of free NFL games on TV.

    Unless you understand their greed.

  51. trollingforjustice says: Jun 17, 2014 6:19 AM

    lemme get this straight….the average Joe has to fund a new stadium for his home team through taxes but isn’t allowed to watch them on TV when they don’t sell out?

  52. daburgher says: Jun 17, 2014 7:04 AM

    no surprise he chose a politician to send such an idiotic message.

    on the field and in life Stallworth > Swann

  53. fuqtard says: Jun 17, 2014 7:09 AM

    In Pittsburgh, Steeler rhymes with Shiller

  54. papajack1259 says: Jun 17, 2014 7:13 AM

    As if the profit of any team is decided at the gate…with the NFL Television contracts they should buy a couple hundred tickets and give them to the fan base….how much do millionaires oops…Billionaires need?

  55. whatjusthapped says: Jun 17, 2014 7:13 AM

    Local Minneapolis companies like 3-M, Pillsbury, and General Mills should take dead aim to eliminate the black out rule so they can get the Vikings to stop leaning on them to buy tickets they never wanted just to save face for that last place team.

  56. shadowman1433 says: Jun 17, 2014 7:24 AM

    Maybe if the stadiums weren’t full of drunken idiots more people would go to the games.

  57. doyousee13 says: Jun 17, 2014 7:29 AM

    Or you could be in the UK where you pay for NFL GamePass and still get weekly blacked out games whenever they are shown by Sky on their subscription service

  58. peed1 says: Jun 17, 2014 7:33 AM

    NFL should be very careful. Remember pigs get slaughtered. Leave a little money on the table, stop being pigs, the stadium experience is not that great. Had club seats, not anymore, too much money, big screen at home nicer and get to sit with who I want to.

  59. bigbenh8tr says: Jun 17, 2014 7:48 AM

    Overturning the broadcast antitrust exemption would allow networks to negotiate with teams like the Cowboys, Patriots, and Steelers directly Notre Dame-style packages.
    ________________________________
    What about the Vikings? I’m sure that would be a huge ticket for a network like NBC?

    Hah, just kidding, maybe TLC or the Oxygen channel would try to pick them up

  60. exboomer says: Jun 17, 2014 7:50 AM

    McFaddensPulledHammy says:
    Jun 16, 2014 11:13 PM
    Roger speaks for the owners. The owners don’t want half empty stadiums and the game on local TV. If you owned the Bills, Raiders, or Cardinals, would you?

    The Bills have consistenly sold out home games in Sept-Nov the past 14 years even without going to the playoffs . Since they have been out of the playoff race by Dec that is when they don’t sell out games but the games would still be watched if they were on TV.

  61. cshearing says: Jun 17, 2014 8:15 AM

    @ravenswinsuperbowl47: One of the most idiotic comments I have ever read. You call the public freeloaders for wanting the game on TV, but then say that public funding of stadiums means nothing? The only two possibilities are stupid or paid; which is it?

  62. topcide says: Jun 17, 2014 8:21 AM

    Considreing I live in Michigan and when Ford Field was built Wayne County ( where Ford Field is located) approved a 2% sales tax increase to pay for “their” portion of a stadium, blacking anything out is ridiculous.

    Considering I am a Sunday Ticket subscriber, it’s even more absurd.

    And the million dollar question is why would I ever want to go to an NFL game anymore?

    Seruously, why would I?

    A ticket that’s halfway decent is going to cost me at least 60 bucks a pop, figure $20 to park the car if I don’t feel like walking on a cold Michigan fall day, 20 bucks for 2 watery beers in flimsey plasttic cups that break, and prob $15 for a plate of nachos and a hot dog. Plus I live an hour drive each way from the stadium.
    So $115 bucks plus $4 per gallon gas to sit it traffic to the stadium, stand in line to take a leak, have drunk people spill beer all over me and drop F bombs every other word, then have the same drunk idiot thats too hammered to stand yell at me for standing up and cheering on a 3rd down. So basically spend a big chunk of disposable income for a few hours and completely blow one of my 2 days off per week not really enjoying myself.

    Or I could sit in my finished basement that has a bar with a built in kegerator and watch the game on my flat screen TV and enjoy craft beers in frosty mugs and get pizza delivered to me.

    I think ill stick with choice B

  63. teal379 says: Jun 17, 2014 8:26 AM

    Everyone laughed at Mark Cuban yet here we are discussing the things he talked about.

  64. lionswinsuperbowl says: Jun 17, 2014 8:33 AM

    Get rid of the rule. Make the stadium smaller. Let the unenthusiastic elites go to the game w/ their wife and let the real fans watch the game.

    The Lions were blacked out during their 0-16 stretch and it actually saved me some misery and frustration. Thats probably the best argument the NFL has.

  65. twilson962 says: Jun 17, 2014 8:42 AM

    Seems hypocritical to me. The NFL, only recently, will begin dual broadcasting their TERRIBLE Thursday Night Stinkfest on broadcast TV. How many years have people been unable to watch these games b/c their service provider did not offer NFL Network…a pay channel. It’s ridiculous. I know the games were broadcast nationwide on NFLN, and locally on broadcast channels. But…still….

    I truly hope the gov’t yanks the blackout rules. The NFL keeps trying to think of new & exciting things to make game day at the stadium more enjoyable, i.e. wifi in the stadiums, highlights of other games around the league, fantasy stats, etc. BUT they are missing the one most important thing that keeps people from attending… THE COST! The cost to attend an NFL game is flipping astronomical.

  66. joetoronto says: Jun 17, 2014 8:46 AM

    Blackouts are what killed the CFL and the NFL is next.

    Greed and the criminal element will kill the NFL soon.

  67. dezno24 says: Jun 17, 2014 8:51 AM

    If you have the Sunday Ticket and is clever with a satellite, then there is no such thing as a blackout even if the game is not televised in your home city.

  68. joe6606 says: Jun 17, 2014 8:51 AM

    There has never been a person in the history of mankind who woke up one day and thought, hmm I better buy an NFL ticket just in case my local team is blacked out on TV.

    But it is easier ie cheaper for the NFL to threaten blackouts to try to entice people to buy tickets as opposed to actually doing something productive to make the in game experience more interesting.

    Face the facts. Going to a game has enormous drawbacks. TV time outs are boring. They never show replays of controversial plays that involve the home team, so you don’t have a full picture of what is going on. 1/2 the stadiums don’t have wifi. Who wants to pee in a trough? Or pay $50 for parking? Or $10 for 1 beer?

    I attend 1 or 2 games per year and can honestly say I prefer watching them at home on the big screen.

  69. fishyinalittledishy says: Jun 17, 2014 9:03 AM

    Last year i signed up to stream Dolphin games on game pass to my computer and because the game was shown live on satalite TV which i didnt have at the time, i was blacked out for 24hrs. I was not very pleased with myself for being duped and not reading the small print that was pobably there in micro size words for all to see.

  70. rufustfireflyjr says: Jun 17, 2014 9:03 AM

    The government should “butt out” and let the NFL sell its product in any way it sees fit.

  71. therealdave123 says: Jun 17, 2014 9:16 AM

    at realnflmaster: the patriots sell out every home game and their owner used his own money to build the stadium.

  72. perkjctc says: Jun 17, 2014 9:39 AM

    If any tax dollars were used to build the stadium then there should be no blackout. I love how he’s urging fans to contact the FCC in support of blackouts. I know fans are just clamoring for more blackouts and will fight for their right to have their favorite team removed from tv. This guy is an idiot!!!!

  73. jimthebuilder27 says: Jun 17, 2014 9:47 AM

    I hope they eliminate the blackout policy. If the stadiums are paid for with public funds they have no right to fleece the taxpayers.

    Funny how the NFL is a tax exempt organization. They make billions in profits, get public funding for stadiums, and we still have to pay taxes on the products we buy.

    I’d expect this from the classless Vikings organization, but from the NFL?

  74. coachkilla6 says: Jun 17, 2014 9:57 AM

    Last season, 13 of 16 Viking games were blacked from a nationwide TV audience due to half-empty stadiums.

    America thanks the NFL for the blackout rule.

  75. censoredagain says: Jun 17, 2014 10:08 AM

    BREAKING NEWS!!

    The NFL is a GREEDY, STARVING PIG of a business entity that doesn’t have the slightest interest in making its rabidly loyal customers happy!

    More to follow, after these commercial messages from NFLshop dot com, the only place on earth where you can buy a keychain that weighs 4 oz., but will gouge you $10 to ship it anyway

  76. SilentMajority says: Jun 17, 2014 10:20 AM

    They raise my taxes to build stadiums, then overcharge for all the products and services, and because I can’t afford to take the entire family to the game they black it out. How can anyone justify the current system?

  77. notthetroll says: Jun 17, 2014 10:25 AM

    If the owner paid for the stadium in whole, fine. If the owner put up an amount and the rest was paid through things like a ‘hotel tax” that’s still ok. If the owner only put up some and the city or county paid the rest through a sales tax, that is where we get into a bad place with this position.
    IF these guys are free market capitalists, then they could fill their stadiums. If people didn’t come to games they could lower the price in some ways to bring more people into the game. As some have mentioned, the event is bad in some areas, but in the games I’ve been to in KC and Dallas the fans have been cool. If there is a problem in a facility with drunkenness and profanity the NFL should pay for more security, period. Not because they need to be paying, but because they should be protecting their investment.

  78. staticphear says: Jun 17, 2014 10:30 AM

    If the local residents are paying a tax to help pay for the stadium then it is not FREE TV.

    So if they are paying for it they should get to see all games regardless of how many people are in attendance.

    If they don’t pay a tax then go ahead and keep the blackout rule.

  79. b3nz0z says: Jun 17, 2014 10:35 AM

    the nfl needs to lose its tax exempt status. we all LOVE football but just because the NFL can’t figure out how to make enough profit off of the insane amount of money they already bring in doesn’t mean the fans have to keep getting gouged.
    how much cash do you and everyone you know pump into the NFL every year? they really need more, huh?

  80. packergator says: Jun 17, 2014 10:37 AM

    I get much more out of watching games on NFL RedZone HD than I would wasting my time and money on attending a single game – and I’m far from the only one.

    Oh, by the way, there are no blackouts on NFL RedZone.

  81. richmondbolt says: Jun 17, 2014 11:21 AM

    “Do your vinyasa.”

  82. judsonjr says: Jun 17, 2014 11:41 AM

    It’s not just home games that are blacked out, it’s whatever game is on the opposite station of the home team. This means that markets with 2 teams will rarely get a doubleheader on on of the channels.

    I pay for Sunday Ticket and this stupid rule even caught me. I was trying to use my tablet with Sunday Ticket to watch the second half of a key game at a friends house. Surprise! Even though I was watching the game just fine at home, once I went over the internet it was blacked out because it was running opposite of the home team on a different channel.

    Still, the home experience is what’s for me. I have no desire to spend several hundred dollars for the reward of sitting in traffic for several hours before and after the game. Honestly, it’s almost easier and cheaper to fly to an away game in places like AZ, Tampa, and San Diego.

  83. bucsmightbegood says: Jun 17, 2014 11:50 AM

    ravenswinsuperbowl47 says:Jun 16, 2014 11:42 PM

    “bobulated says:
    Jun 16, 2014 10:51 PM
    Any team that hasn’t received public subsidies for their stadium should be allowed to have blackouts. But since that is no NFL team, until the owners repay local taxpayers their corporate welfare, there should be no such thing as a local blackout.”

    ———————————————–

    Say what?

    How much more Federal government intrusion will there be? What’s the relevance of public financing of stadiums? 32 owners have banded together to provide the best sports product in history. One reason the NFL has grown successfully has been the blackout rule.

    This freeloading mentality has gotten out of hand: either buy a ticket to the game, or listen to it on the radio if it doesn’t sell out. No freebies for those who won’t support the home team. Straightforward and fair approach,
    ____________________

    The NFL makes money hand over fist. Goodell is making $40 million this year.

    The hardworking American people should be able to watch NFL football on television, especially if our tax dollars fund any part of the team/stadium.

    When will the NFL owners disclose their books, and we can really see how much money they are making?

  84. b3nz0z says: Jun 17, 2014 11:51 AM

    where the heck does all the ad money go?

  85. joejgibbs says: Jun 17, 2014 12:00 PM

    As if fans collectively get together to ensure blackouts, so that those who can’t make it out to the games don’t get stiffed at home. Dumb.

    In a sense, they are penalizing fans for something that they aren’t really responsible for. Sure we buy tickets, but when you buy a ticket, you’re thinking about you and the party you’re attending with, not the thousands of other people out there. Your goal isn’t to sell this game out… that’s management’s responsibility.

    Why penalize us for your crappy product with outrageous prices that make me rather watch the game from my house or tailgating in the parking lot?

  86. chiadam says: Jun 17, 2014 12:05 PM

    Wait, I watch other sports on “free” TV all the time. Fox airs MLB. ABC and NBC show basketball and hockey. CBS shows golf. What is Swann even talking about?

    And when did Swann (the most undeserving HOFer in any sport ever) become a dancing bear for the league?

  87. glac1 says: Jun 17, 2014 12:05 PM

    without shared revenue the NFL becomes just another MLB, NBA or NHL… Five or six teams with a shot at winning it all with the rest being farm teams. This causes poor tv ratings, huge differences in team quality and limited fan interest. There is a reason why the NFL draft has more interest then the NBA playoffs!

  88. torontobergy says: Jun 17, 2014 12:09 PM

    Lynn Swan?

    Soft

  89. noleitup says: Jun 17, 2014 12:58 PM

    Lol. Im really starting to get mad at how greedy the NFL is. I think Mark Cuban really was on to something.

  90. csidedave says: Jun 17, 2014 1:24 PM

    Roger Goodell is the epitome of the term disingenuous. Always trying to convince us that we are demanding something that we don ‘t even want.

    You can see it in the letters he sends to ticket holders. One of my favorites was….In response to your overwhelming demand for more football, we are going to do our best to move to an 18 game season…. Really? Or i really care about player safety while we move to more and more games on Thursday night.

    Mark Cuban is not that far off.

  91. rcali says: Jun 17, 2014 1:43 PM

    Unless you got great seats, I see no reason to go to a game. An expensive hassle. TV Time-Outs. Slammed into a small seat or bench. Dirty washrooms with long lines. No thanks.

  92. melikefootball says: Jun 17, 2014 2:19 PM

    What God-del should look at is some fans want to go to games but are held up by Ticketmaster and such allowing tickets to be sod at three times face value. These same people know the ways to get tickets the day they come up to sell. The league should look deeper into these practices. the more game they blackout the more fans watch something else.

  93. pigskin28 says: Jun 17, 2014 2:20 PM

    To all those claiming Stadiums built with government subsidies should be exempt from blackout, concerts are held there too. Should these be broadcast free of charge?

    It’s business.ESPN blacksout certain college football games simply because of where i live…i pay my provider but can’t see the game. So much worse. But you never hear quack about that.

    But lets bash the big bad NFL because they want too protect their LOCAL product.

  94. bobnelsonjr says: Jun 17, 2014 3:48 PM

    If any team is so bad that they cannot sell out their stadium, they do not belong in the NFL.

    Whiners are so disgusting!!

  95. dietrich43 says: Jun 17, 2014 4:02 PM

    Did they let Dan Snyder organize this PR move?

  96. simonator917 says: Jun 17, 2014 11:44 PM

    . . . This freeloading mentality has gotten out of hand: either buy a ticket to the game, or listen to it on the radio if it doesn’t sell out. No freebies for those who won’t support the home team. Straightforward and fair approach.
    ==========
    Brought to by the “fair and balanced” folks at Fox Noise!

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