NFL's stance on blackouts a precursor to per-game PPV?

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.

To see what we’re talking about, you won’t have to pay anything. 

But you will have to click.

Right here.

18 responses to “ NFL's stance on blackouts a precursor to per-game PPV?

  1. I don’t know about this. The one true anti-trust exemption that football has (unlike the one that baseball has due to a judicial anomaly) is for broadcast rights. The teams can negotiate as one regarding broadcast deals – i.e. collude. If they move to pay per view and off free tv, look to Congress to yank that tv anti-trust exemption.

  2. per game ppv? highly doubt it.
    i could see every game getting moved to a sunday ticket-type deal, though.

  3. Doesn’t this hurt the networks more? I mean, how much ad revenue does it cost them to black out a game? Do they get refunded this revenue by the NFL? This might be something you want to discuss Mike.

  4. Football is my favorite sport. I’ve been watching since I was a youngster with my Dad. I’m a diehard fan like many of you here and visit this site more often than I care to admit just for any news on my team. If the NFL starts a per game PPV…I will have alot more free time on Sunday afternoons.

  5. Can you say “satellite radio”?
    Ask Howard Stern how well limiting his audience has worked for him (long term).
    Fill your pockets now, Greedy Owners.

  6. PPV is not an option. Overall viewership would dramatically decline (and so would advertising revenues.)
    Ratings are not generated solely by team-dedicated, affluent fans. For every Joe Raider wearing an NFL-licensed, authentic Bo Jackson jersey that otherwise would have paid for the privilege of watching the game, there’s a handful of generally fair-weather fans, disinterested wives, distracted kids, unemployed Joe Sixpacks and countless “I’d-rather-watch-this-than-reruns-of-Seinfeld-’til the ‘Niner game-comes-on” to whom all that advertising is directed (and from which is derived massive profits.)
    This model simply cannot be equivalently replaced by PPV.

  7. I, for one, would LOVE PPV game by game. I follow the Packers, so obviously, I would watch that game every week. As for the other games, I would probably get one opposite of the Packers on Sunday, and major primetime games now and again….I would love it. I don’t see it happening, but I love it.

  8. They will price most families out with PPV just like they do tickets.
    Move to Vegas, all games are free at the Casinos.

  9. Free? Don’t we pay for cable or satellite connections? The ticket prices are running the fans out of the stadium. Football is popular but the product is also watered down. More and more average players are receiving above average salaries. Plus do you want to take your wife and kids to the stadium to see drunks in the stands, then see them pissing on the floors in the bathrooms and fights breaking out everywhere? CLEAN up your act NFL!

  10. Then it would come down to who stuffs more $$$ into the pockets of the congressmen and women, the NFL or the Networks… ( it has nothing to do with anti-trust)

  11. When does this end? So not only do they take public money for stadiums, charge you a license fee to buy a seat, dump advertising over everything… they’re going to charge to watch the game?
    Unbelievable if it pans out… with the economy in the tank, they should be figuring out how to make things more affordable, not excluding the average fan or raking them over the coals for a few extra bucks.
    I wouldn’t care if they played to 50,000 empty seats.
    P.S. I live in Phillly, therefore I am nearly blackout proof.

  12. In all honesty as a bears fan, I am unable to purchase satellite radio in my condo and could easily use the money I spend at the bar each week for a ppv game. In fact I sent this exact thought to cablevision 5 years ago.
    If the NFL is unable to reach an agreement with all television media, this is a viable option. Its the NFL.. it will sell. I would be much happier buying a 12 pack and watching the game at home on PPV if that is my only option in the short term!

  13. Tundra, why would love to pay for something that you get for free now? Even if you don’t live Green Bay you can get the games a hell of a lot cheaper than you do now. Hope your comment was sarcastic because otherwise it doesn’t make a bit of sense.
    urbusted, you don’t need a satellite or cable to get network TV. Even if your team plays on ESPN there is always a local option.
    I don’t see PPV happening under any circumstance. The networks pay so much money to the NFL that I can’t see it going that way. Too many people watch and the advertisers have shown they will pay top dollar.

  14. All good things come to and end peeps, the NFL will be no different. With Billion Dollar stadiums, TV Contracts and a looming Labor Crisis, it seems only natural the the NFL will got he way of all the other major sports and ruin itself with good old greed. I make a choice to spend my hard earned money on the NFL and I can make the choice not to if it become unappealing like say the MLB, just sad that it may come to a shitty end because of greed, but isn’t that what got our country in a financial mess in the first place?

  15. They already have per game PPV. If you have DirecTV and you don’t want the entire season of Sunday Ticket you can purchase any single week for $40. I did this once to watch a particular Dolphins game one week.
    Seemed like a fair price to me to be able to watch the Dolphins that week.

  16. Anybody who pays for this is a complete idiot. The NFL is not what it used to be.
    Its greedy, the play is not that good, players dont play hard.
    Prices are too high. Players abuse and harm others and nothing is done.
    Preseason is worthless. Most of us live in states with NCAA and High School football.
    Support these leagues, they play hard and it is pure.
    Prices are cheaper too.

  17. I say this as a guy who isn’t a fan of my local team. Frankly, I could care less if their home games are blacked out as it wouldn’t impact my ability to watch my team play but once every 8 years. And even then, I’m probably going to the game, so it won’t impact me at all.
    That said, I think the only way a PPV model could work is to charge only for the local team’s home games if they’re blacked out. Away games and local sell outs shouldn’t be PPV. Neither should the national games, playoffs or the Super Bowl.
    Also the cost of the PPV has to be cheaper than going to a game. If you’re in a market like Jacksonville where all 8 home games are facing blackouts, odds are most of the local viewers aren’t going to be willing to pony up the cost of a full ticket each week. The cost has to be reasonable, say $20 or so per game. The sheer volume of cheaper priced PPV games might wind up generating more revenue than selling out the stadium each week.

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