Texans-Bengals will be blacked out in Cincinnati

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Ordinarily, a December game between one team that leads its division and another team that leads the race for the final wild-card spot would sell out easily. But that’s not the case in Cincinnati on Sunday.

The Texans-Bengals game is so far away from being a sellout that the Bengals didn’t even wait until the deadline to announce that the game will be blacked out on local television.

That has to be disappointing to the Bengals, whose fans haven’t yet bought into the team, even though they’re 7-5 and currently own the tiebreaker over the other 7-5 AFC teams for the final wild-card spot. With the Texans at 9-3 and leading the AFC South, this game could be a playoff preview.

Nine of the Bengals’ last 10 games have been blacked out, and Paul Brown Stadium has only been about three-quarters full on average this season. The Bengals look like a young team on the rise, but they have a long way to go to get their local fans on board.

54 responses to “Texans-Bengals will be blacked out in Cincinnati

  1. Oh, I remember those days from the last couple of years with the Oilers in Houston. That was a miserable piece of news to receive. Of course, ours was in response to Bud Adams throwing a temper tantrum and threatening to take his toys and go home, but still. It sucks to have your favorite team playing and you can’t see them.

  2. This city OBVIOUSLY does not appreciate their team. What they have done in the last year?

    Drafting Green
    Drafting Dalton
    Losing Ochocinco
    Trading Palmer for a fortune

    And the city still won’t get behind them? Everyone says Brown is only in it for the money, but how can’t he be? If the city isn’t going to support the team, then maybe they should move to a city that will support them.

    It worked for Cleveland.

    By the way, the ONE game that was sold out was sold out because Steelers fans bought the tickets. It had NOTHING to do with the Bengals fans.

  3. I’m sorry but any league that PREVENTS a game from being televised in a home market, FOR ANY REASON, is a league that’s either poorly managed or full of itself.

    Has anyone heard of ANY other sport where home team games are blacked out b/c of the stadium not being sold out? ever? i’ve never experienced this, living 25 minutes outside philly, but i’d be PISSED if a game was actively prevented from being shown to the area for no other reason besides ridiculous television contracts and profit sharing.

  4. I have read enough of these posts to know that Bengal fans support their team, but they are locked in a battle with perhaps one of the worst owners in sports and respect what they are doing.

    Part of me says support your team, but Brown is truly an idiot. The problem for Bengal fans is that he gets it from his daddy and he isn’t changing. Bengal fans deserve a better owner, but they aren’t going to get one.

    If Paul wasn’t so stupid, the Bengals might be the team with 5 championships. Much Appreciated!

    Hope they are still giving everyone a free bag of popcorn with every 4 tickets purchased.

  5. “Fans of other teams don’t understand.” <—-This

    First off, I can't afford 80$ tickets. I am a huge fan of the team but it doesn't make since to pay 80$ for a ticket…20$ to park…maybe 10-15$ if i want something to drink or eat at the game.

    People can say all they want about not appreciating a team but I wouldn't talk until you were in our position.

    It's funny…because it's either "the fans don't appreciate their team"/"they aren't good fans"…or its "They're stupid for buying into the program"/"why would anyone buy tickets to that?"

    Make up your mind.

  6. I have bought into the team, however, I’m not sure I’ve bought into Mike Brown’s ways. I’m still feeling that he is in it for the money. The draft picks were by default and chance. Default being the number one pick (Green) and taking a chance on Dalton. The Palmer deal, which was totally regulated by Mike Brown, happened because someone had to really beg him to make the deal. I do not think Mike Brown was going to even consider the trade if someone within the organization hadn’t talked some good sense into him.
    The mentality of most fans is that they have bought into the team but not Mike Brown. If the Bengals make it to the playoffs this year and use their draft picks that they got for the Palmer trade efficiently, the fans may show more support for Brown. Winning will cure this problem as it does most problems in this business.

  7. Bengals fans have bought into the team.

    They have not bought into the General Manager – one Michael Brown.

    Since the media is loving to kick the fan-base, I have to conclude that they will surely show their high-minded lack of bias by making GM Mike Brown Executive of the Year.


  8. I have always been and will always be a Bengals fan. That being said, they have the worst PR department in the game. Nothing about the Org. is fan friendly, nor are they remotely concerned with the financial state of the region and city. The lease they have is ridiculous. Every time we turn around the Bengals have their hand out wanting something. They conceded that there is a stadium tax deficit, giving back a few million to the city, only to reach back and ask for more than they gave to buy a new jumbo-tron. The city is liable for the unsold seats every week, so I ask how is this not considered a sell out every week?
    I personally will be going to the game Sunday, but I’m scalping a decent seat instead of buying a cheap seat (upper deck is all that’s left) for full face price, not value ($68). It’s time to block off the bad seats, i.e. Jacksonville or pull a Viking and lower the price of the “cheap seats.”
    Mike Brown has seemingly done his job this year. I like the team and will support, but with 20 years of Mike’s chocking grip, I do not blame those who gave up their season tickets, not one bit. They need to beat a decent team to win back the fans, start this week.

  9. In the middle of a playoff race? A race that does not happen often in Cincinnati. And you can’t sell out? Wow, that is pathetic!

  10. TurdSandwich says:
    Dec 7, 2011 11:55 AM
    Fans of other teams don’t understand.
    Fans of the team won’t understand when they have no team in town.

  11. Wow, bring on the tarps or move the team to LA. Next thing you know they’ll be selling the team to a guy named after a Star Trek character.

    Nine of the last ten blacked out. Seriously? How come this isn’t national news like the ticket sales in Jacksonville – no blackout since 2009, by the way.


  12. To somnambulator:

    I agree with you in principle that the rule is dumb, but it does have a purpose. It isn’t because television contracts and profit sharing. Actually, you would think television contracts would PREVENT blackouts.

    It is in place so people actually go to the game, instead of watching it at home. It gives the stadium attendees, parking lot workers, ect more work.

  13. Also… please joetoronto, do not talk smack about another team’s blackouts. You are a Jokeland fan. Oh yeah, congrats again on that whole 6 consecutive sellout thing! So impressive.

  14. daysend564 says:
    Dec 7, 2011 12:00 PM
    This is not surprising. A couple seasons they got their first home playoff game in forever and they couldn’t sell it out either.

    ??? Where do you get this from? When the Mikey boy actually put a good team on the field in 05, Paul Brown Stadium had something like 50 straight sell outs. Look it up buddy.

    I went to the Browns/Bengals game earlier this year and was pretty shocked how empty the stadium was (think a big reason was b/c of the weather since ticketmaster said most of the tickets were sold out). I also agree that fans should start showing more support. I for one thought this team would be 0-16 this year and am shocked how good they have been. They have a an extremely bright future.

    However, Bengal fans have been forced to deal with Mike Brown and his ineptitude for probably all of their lives. We have all grown tired of it. We have good reasons to not show up and pay $85 for a ticket. It’ll cost you about $150-200 minimum to come to a game now, including travel (live in cbus), food, beverages, ticket, etc…
    That’s a lot of money when I can just watch it on my HDTV flat screen at home.

  15. No other fans of any team understands why this is happening. People absolutely hate Mike Brown. Yes it seems that things are beginning to change. But most fans won’t buy in until they’re sure it’s going to stay that way. Brown has pulled us in before with some wins (2 or so whole seasons out of the 20+ of his ownership) and then the very next year pulled the rug out from under us. We aren’t buying it just yet.
    Besides, our lack of depth is still showing how badly this team is run! Our best cornerback (Leon Hall) would probably be a #2 at best on any other team. He got hurt and is on IR, the next best thing we have is Adam Jones, yes THAT Adam Jones. He’s washed up and can barely play half a season w/o a major injury. So it’s now showing how bad this team is still being run b/c of our lack of depth at positions.
    If you guys only knew why we hated Mike Brown so much.

  16. People have to understand the dynamics at play in Cincinnati before judging them based on attendance. Mike Brown has done a lot of things right over the last couple of months, but it’s hard to undue the bad he’s done for the previous 20+ years. He’s consistently ranked amongst the worst owners in sports. ESPN the magazine ranked the Bengals the worst franchise in pro sports… The Wall Street Journal had a front page story on the Bengals and how they essentially screwed over Hamilton County in their lease agreement for Paul Brown Stadium. Their franchise quarterback, who was revered in the community, decided he would rather retire than play for the team. The Bengals had arguably the ugliest off-season (save the draft) of any franchise in league history.

    It’s easy to say, well the team is winning, go to games… but in this case, we would also be supporting Mike Brown’s wallet. Remember, this team has amongst the highest cap space of any team in football. They traded Carson Palmer and his contract as well, but it’s not like Mike Brown rushed out to lock up any potential free agents… That money is still sitting there. 3 months ago, columns were written about how cheap the Bengals were… They struck gold with a couple of great draft picks and found great value in free agency. Much more will need to be done (e.g. money spent on players, facilities, front office, etc.), to show that the team has fully invested in building a successful organization for the long haul, before fans invest into fully supporting the organization. Remember, this is a fan base that sold out 40+ straight games despite losing records… It’s not like we’re unwilling, we just need more commitment from the team.

  17. ummm buffalo fans would kill to have your team. we have to watch the crap we put on the field for the past 12 years. last week was our first blackout. are you kidding me you can’t sell out this game?! rook qb rookie wr stud defense. wow

  18. 7pints says:
    Dec 7, 2011 12:45 PM
    Also… please joetoronto, do not talk smack about another team’s blackouts. You are a Jokeland fan. Oh yeah, congrats again on that whole 6 consecutive sellout thing! So impressive.
    Either you’re too dumb to know the difference between a team in contention and a team that’s not, and how it makes all the difference in the world, or you’re just trying to stir up crap.

    Maybe both, loser.

  19. I’m tired of these articles and other team’s fans judging Bengals fans. They’re having a nice year this year, blowing out the preseason expectations, but that doesn’t mean Mike Brown is any less inept as an owner. They won the division in 2009 and followed it up by going 4-12. 20 years of losing teams and a loser owner.

    I was listening to Philadelphia sports talk radio, and Eagles fans were advocating boycotting the team to change the ownership or at least get rid of Andy Reid. This has nothing to do with the Bengals on the field or the fans in and around Cincinnati. It is purely about Mike Brown’s doughbaggery.

  20. brokaw25 says:
    Dec 7, 2011 12:46 PM
    This is not surprising. A couple seasons they got their first home playoff game in forever and they couldn’t sell it out either.

    ??? Where do you get this from? When the Mikey boy actually put a good team on the field in 05, Paul Brown Stadium had something like 50 straight sell outs. Look it up buddy.
    The game sold enough tickets that it didn’t get blacked out but it was a couple thousand from being at/near capacity.

    The stadium holds over 65,500 seats. The capacity on the day was in the 63,686. The game was against the NYJ in 2009.


  21. I wonder why teams executive do not look at the price of tickets as the source of the problem. I think if they lower the price point on tickets than maybe that would encourage fans to attend the games.

  22. Then how do you explain the recent 57-game sellout streak from 2003 ongoing that ended only last November 19th (vs Bills)??

    The season ticket base collapsed in the wake of getting their hopes up in 2009’s playoff run ending in a playoff debacle vs Jets & then 2010 thudding to the 4-12 record, finally gutting whatever ‘sheen’ of ‘optimism’ was left from Marvin Lewis being named coach … & then he was retained (although I think it’s clear now he was the right choice at that point moving forward). The Bengals’ lackluster (at best) staff PR ‘effort’ sure hasn’t helped anything …

    Then Palmer’s unprecedented public snub crystallized inertia in the minds of the non-fanatical ticket buying public? Add that the local economy ain’t all that great & X-mas bills loom on the horizon …

  23. Let’s not forget that Brown wanted Mallett and not Dalton. So don’t give Brown credit for Dalton.

  24. daysend564 says:
    Dec 7, 2011 12:00 PM
    This is not surprising. A couple seasons they got their first home playoff game in forever and they couldn’t sell it out either.


    What fantasy land did this happen in? Not only did the Bengals sell out their home playoff game in ’09, there were over 70,000 in attendance with the listed “capacity” at just over 65,000. The Bengals ended an approximately 60 game sellout streak last season, with the vast majority of those 60 games being underachieving losing teams. At some point the losing catches up with the economy.

  25. Wow, I’m seeing a lot of excuses from Cincy fans. OK, your owner isn’t good, BUT YOUR TEAM IS.
    We in Jacksonville are lambasted for out ticket issues……and the Jags are struggling big time..but we are able to avoid blackouts (at least so far..). I don’t wish for any team to relocate, but I can see that the Jaguars should be placed well down the list!!!

  26. People are bitter about Mike Brown’s attitude after last year but is the economy here more than anything else. Try selling ANYTHING around here anymore that isn’t an absolute necessity – it is tough.
    Plenty of people want the tickets, they just want them at half price or free.
    They should drop the cheap seat pricing and it wouldn’t be an issue. The lowest price in the stadium is about $65-$70!

  27. What the heck else is there to do in Cincinnati?? Why not go see your playoff-contending team?

  28. uhhh no joetoronto, i know exactly who is in contention. and i know about sellouts for 30+ consecutive YEARS!!! Bronco fan here! lol. as a Jokeland fan you would no about losers. nice try though, slick.

  29. @davoider says:

    Scroll up a couple posts and check your facts. There was 70k at the Week 17 game against the Jets. However, the playoff game the following week was in the 63k range.

  30. Bengals fans are letting Mike Brown know what they think of him with their wallets. If you can see the game, look at the half empty ring of club level seats. Those were season ticket holders on seats costing well above $100 each. The prices on those seats have not come down. Fans are not going to buy them (except Steelers fans).

    The message is clear to Mr. Brown, sell the team or we’re not coming back, win or lose.

  31. The ignorance from the comments here is spilling over. I’d love for the Bills fans to experience Mike Brown for 20 years. Then you’d see why we don’t want him here. As much as I love this team, I hope Mike Brown leaves to another city. Hopefully someone would see this loyal fanbase selling out 50+ home games during losing seasons. We’re fed up with this clown we have as an owner/gm. And then he hires all his nephews and cousins to work as well. It’s like a corner store owner that hires only relatives who can’t count money to work there. Just doesn’t make any sense.

  32. It amazes me that we catch such flack in Jacksonville when we are blowing away the likes of cincy, oakland, miami, tampa bay, and san diego attendance.

  33. This makes no sense. You can’t tell me the NFL makes more money off in-stadium attendance vs. their TV contracts.

    The NFL is a “studio sport” – made for TV! I’m a season ticket holder and I go to the games, but I despise not seeing replays 5 times right away, no injury updates and the long commercial breaks. Frankly, the angle from my living room is much better than from my seats.

    The NFL is not doing enough to make the “stadium experience” better.

  34. You know you is to blame for lack of ticket sales, its the ticket sales departments of these teams. Its laziness by these ticket departments for not trying to do other things than say we are the NFL,but our stuff, just because. The owners need to look at those in charges of developing the ticket programs.

  35. Lions fans had to endure Matt Millen for years. Detroit is a poorer community than Cincinnati. The Lions had a 0-16 season (somehow rivals your 4-12 season).

    Yet, somehow, with the Lions in playoff race we don’t hear how they aren’t selling out their stadium for home games.

    Keep the excuses coming…

  36. Lions fans had to endure Matt Millen for years. Detroit is a poorer community than Cincinnati. The Lions had a 0-16 season (somehow rivals your 4-12 season).

    Yet, somehow, with the Lions in playoff race we don’t hear how they aren’t selling out their stadium for home games.

    Keep the excuses coming…


    Population of Cincinnati 2,170,828
    Population of Detriot 4,296,250

    There are bound to be more idiots who are willing to go.

  37. daysend564-
    I was at the 2005 “Fire Millen” rally at Ford Field where the Bengals clinched their first AFC North title. That place wasn’t even half filled, and those Lions fans that WERE there were wearing orange and paper bags. Pretty sure that game wasn’t “sold out” back then. They may be selling out all their games now, but Matt Millen isn’t around anymore either, is he?

  38. And here I sit on the Steelers season ticket list for 18 years and counting…

    And yet Bungles fans pound their chests and claim that the team is on the rise. I like the looks of the young team, but the fans are pitiful.


  39. School teachers worry about reading comprehension, and it is very important, since no comprehension, no understanding. For those of you who just love to see yourself in print even though what you say has no meaning, it is time to tell you non-Southwest Ohio, Northern Ky folks to just cool your jets. It has been explained to you over and over that the single problem in Bengalville is Mike Brown. When you say “Oh no, it is just poor fan support”, I say to you that you should wait until you have at least tried on a pair of our mocassins. All of the problems can be solved by talented front office folks. I said ALL of them, in case you want to talk ticket price, etc. And, yes, it must start with Mike Brown being out of the picture. But, the Bengals will still be in Cincinatti and you can bet on that.

  40. As a Bengals fan I am ashamed of some of the comments by my brethren Bengal fans. Get your buts up and go buy a ticket! Screw Mike Brown support those kids out there playing ball. Yes Brown will get the money but lets show the league what kind of fans Cincy really has and get behind this team. I live in San Antonio and the black out won’t effect me one bit but I do fly to Cincy twice a season for a game and when I lived in KY I had season tickets. I know its easier, cheaper, and with the TV’s now sometimes even better to just watch from home but please start supporting this team by going to some games. WHO DEY!

  41. Amazing only game that wasn’t blacked out was game they played the steelers! That’s the power of steeler nation! You’re welcome!

  42. I must have a better memory than some of you Steeler fans.

    I remember back in the 80’s when the Steelers weren’t so good, when Three Rivers looked a little thin…..

    What goes around, comes around…….

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