In recently explaining to Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal the league’s refusal to soften the blackout policy during a bad economy, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy hinted at the core of the concern. “The policy is important in supporting the ability of the clubs to sell
tickets and keeping our games attractive as television programming with
large crowds,” McCarthy said, “so we can keep all our games on free TV.”
In other words, the future of the blackout policy is tied to the future of free television broadcasts.
And despite current financial gloom that has prompted NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to predict that up to 20 percent of all games could be blacked out locally this year, a more significant source of non-sellouts is on the horizon — along with the possibility for the potential introduction of true pay-per-view.
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