NFL continues suspension of blackout rule

When the NFL “suspended” the controversial blackout rule in 2015, the unspoken message was that it’s never coming back.

Officially, it’s not coming back in 2016.

Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal reports that owners voted last week to extend the suspension by another year. Commissioner Roger Goodell explained that the NFL wants to give it another year before making a decision on whether to scrap or reinstate the rule that requires all non-premium seats to be sold within 72 hours of kickoff, with an increasing number of exceptions and limitations.

Kaplan points out that there were no blackouts in 2014, and only two in 2013. In 2015, average attendance dropped only 0.5 percent.

No matter what happens in 2016 or beyond, it would be incredibly unpopular for the NFL to resurrect the policy. Fans would hate it, the media would kill it, and (more importantly) politicians would resume rattling the various swords that periodically get rattled whenever the NFL does something Congress doesn’t like.

So, basically, a clumsy P.R. effort that enlisted (i.e., paid) Lynn Swann to help blame efforts to scrap the blackout rule on shadowy “Pay-TV lobbyists” and that generated 20,000 supporters for keeping the blackout rule ended up being a waste of however much money the NFL spent to fund it.

22 responses to “NFL continues suspension of blackout rule

  1. You’d think this issue would be a easy slam dunk for the NFL, but they still might blow it. This level epic level of suck is as amazing as it is frustrating.

    ‘Money. Over. Everything.” – Hannibal Burress

  2. The blackout rule never made any sense to me. If the team isn’t drawing fans to fill a stadium, doesn’t it make sense to show those games to people in the area in the effort to increase the fan base? And isn’t the lion’s share of money made being generated from TV deals as opposed to ticket sales?

  3. steelerben says: Mar 28, 2016 2:01 PM

    The blackout rule never made any sense to me. If the team isn’t drawing fans to fill a stadium, doesn’t it make sense to show those games to people in the area in the effort to increase the fan base?
    ============================================================================
    most people cant afford to go to more than one or two games a year, So you think it is better to black out Games so fans quit being fans?
    Remember Boxing?? It used to be HUGELY Popular
    it was on TV every week, then they got greedy and put all major fights on PPV, This was in 1985,
    By 2010 it only had 5% of the fan base, People simply watched something else! then the Kids born in the early 80’s won’t have a thin to do with Boxing.
    The same thing will happen to MMA. Football is headed there too.
    I saw last year they put Boxing back on CBS, it got cancelled because nobody cares about it anymore!

  4. Teams that can’t sell out their stadiums should be forced to forfeit their franchises. In Baltimore we haven’t had a single game that wasn’t sold out since our team returned and there are many cities out there, some previously spurned like us, and other who have never had a franchise that would sell out every game. If a team isn’t selling out it means they are perennial losers (Raiders, Cleveland(factory of sorrow)) or their fans suck (Tampa Bay). In any case, support your team by buying tickets and selling out stadiums or risk losing your franchise. Period, end of blackout rule.

  5. .
    stop blacking out streaming of local games…

    It’s ok to send games over seas and different locations so I can’t go to the stadium but it’s not ok to stream the game… makes sense… all about $$$$

  6. With so many NFL decisions being so blatantly anti-fan and pro-maximing-profit-at-all-costs, it’s nice that at least one fan-friendly decision is being made, and sticking.

    Now, please give us fewer commercial breaks (replaced by soccer-style sidebar on-screen brand advertising during the flow of the game), and easier/less exclusive access to game content. Monetizing everything is ruining it.

  7. Never did understand how if a team got blacked out, in their market, their fans can’t watch? Yet some dude from middle of nowhere Montana can watch all the games with no blackouts!

    Not fair for anyone. NFL is slowing becoming a premium sport.

  8. Why do stadiums have to be sold out anyways for showing or not showing the game on TV? This is straight up extortion and a monopoly. Other sporting events are rarely sold out and they don’t deny customers the chance to see the game. The networks already paid billions to broadcast so local affiliates and the sponsors are losing when their main market is prevented from seeing the game.

    Also, just about every single stadium is taxpayer funded. It’s our stadium and this should be permanently illegal. Unfortunately, the NFL has the deeper pockets and can afford more lobbyists. The public gets screwed yet again.

  9. Who cares what politicians and especially the media says. The fans don’t like it and that’s all that matters.

  10. abninf says:
    Mar 28, 2016 5:13 PM

    Who cares what politicians and especially the media says. The fans don’t like it and that’s all that matters.
    ——————–

    Politicians are the ones that gave us the “if tickets are sold out 72 hours in advance, the blackout is lifted.”

    Prior to that, all games were blacked out in the home market no matter what.

  11. “So, basically, a clumsy P.R. effort that enlisted (i.e., paid) Lynn Swann to help blame efforts to scrap the blackout rule on shadowy “Pay-TV lobbyists” and that generated 20,000 supporters for keeping the blackout rule ended up being a waste of however much money the NFL spent to fund it.”

    Another case of the NFL spending ridiculous amounts of money to push a false narrative. CTE, Deflategte, and now this. It seems to be a trend with these guys.

  12. There are still blackouts even though the league mandated blackouts have been suspended. For example, when my team, the Dolphins, are hosting an NFC team, the game is aired by FOX. In the market I’m in, the FOX Network carries the Tampa Bay Buccaneers games. Therefore the Dolphins game is blacked out in my area, and I must travel to the east coast of Florida, to a Sports Bar or motel to view the game. This happened 3 times in 2015, whereas in normal years, it’s 2 games that are effected. Usually, I will chose these games to buy tickets and attend the game live. But this year, the ticket prices were way to high for my budget. One such game was against the Cowboys, and seats that I normally pay in the $85.00 t0 $100.00 range for, were priced at over $600.00 for the same seats. That’s ridiculous. A retired, disabled senior citizen, who lives on a fixed income, such as myself, could never afford these games.

  13. That’s awesome I won’t have to give to Bucs a penny of my money just to watch a Rapist glorified and drink expensive beer and crappy food. Thanks NFL.

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