Senator who criticized blackout policy applauds NFL’s decision


Late last year, as the Cincinnati Bengals were blacked out on local television for the sixth time of the season, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio called the blackout policy a failure and said the NFL needs to scrap it. So Brown liked what he heard this week.

The news that the NFL plans to relax the blackout policy to allow teams to put their games on local television as long as 85 percent of the tickets are sold was praised by Brown, who says he now believes blackouts will no longer be an issue for either of the teams in his home state.

Brown said in a statement to The Hill that the decision ensured “that all Bengals fans can root for the home team — not just those who can afford tickets.”

It’s still possible, however, that some Bengals home games could be blacked out: Bengals owner Mike Brown could choose not to take advantage of the NFL’s loosening of the rules and require all of the tickets at Paul Brown Stadium to be sold before he’ll lift the blackout. It’s also possible that even if Mike Brown goes along with the new rule, the Bengals might not even sell 85 percent of their tickets for some games.

So while those who oppose the blackout policy — senators and common fans alike — can celebrate this week’s news, the blackout policy isn’t dead yet. It’s still likely that some NFL games will be blacked out on local television this season.

16 responses to “Senator who criticized blackout policy applauds NFL’s decision

  1. Bengal fans are a joke. One losing season and the bandwagon fans jump off screaming. One winning season and they huff and puff their chests as if they actually mean something to the NFL. AFCN belongs to the Ravens, the rest of you can fall in line.

  2. I could not agree more. Blackouts should not be allowed in markets where public funds were used to build the stadiums. The NFL should also scrap the rules that forbid the broadcast of games on other networks when local games are being played.

  3. That would be a ballsy move by Brown, considering the fans sitting at home paid for the stadium with their own tax dollars. They paid for it, they should be able to watch the games from wherever they want.

  4. Didn’t the Bengals average 49,000 last year? Is that 85 % of the stadium capacity? I doubt it. More blackouts unless they get some butts in the seats.

  5. In Tampa, taxes paid for RJS. Yet, if they haven’t sold enough tickets, surrounding people who paid that tax cannot see the game via tv.

    I always thought that was crap.

    They make enough money through media that they really don’t even need the fans in the stands anymore.

    In all honesty, they should probably lower the standard even more. Maybe 75%?

  6. Why not have a rule that doesn’t allow blackouts at all, for teams that are still paying back their respective states or counties. It’s certainly not fair for any citizen to be forced to have money taken out of their check, and then told they can’t watch the team they are helping stay. Unless, they have roughly 150-200 dollars per person going. I’m not a lawyer, so maybe what I’m saying makes no sense. Just a thought.

  7. Ravenator! or should i say raven troll! Why not go and mind your buisness. Go check out your gay mascot. A raven! lol! The ravens choke year in and year out. They beat the giants years ago. Congrats for that but that was a long time ago.

  8. Hasn’t the blackout policy mostly been a strong-arm technique to get the local TV station to fork out money to buy up unsold tickets?

  9. Scrap the idiotic blackout policy completely. There is no other business in the world where the company denies their product to their customers just because not enough is sold.

    The fans have spoken. The economy is bad and the product is waaaaaaaaaaaay too expensive.

  10. Or perhaps someone will finally figure out that the average fan doesn’t need WiFi, sushi bars, and lavish corporate suites.

    We would rather watch the damn game, and not pay out the ass for the posh crowd that can’t name a single defensive player.

  11. “Ticket prices have climbed in recent years, from an average $72.20 in 2008 to $77.34 last year, according to Team Marketing Report. Along with the ticket, the average NFL beer is now $7.20, a hot dog is $4.77 and parking costs $25.77.” (Source: WallStreet Journal)

    Ticket, parking, hot dog, and a beer at the stadium my taxes helped finance: $115.08

    My couch, my garage, a pack of hot dogs, and TWELVE beers: $20.

    Figure it out NFL, true fans are tired of the spiraling costs. We’re not paying for corporate sleazebags (who we JUST bailed out!) to schmooze.

  12. Hey Latchbeam

    You, Mike Brown, and all the other evil bloated swine out there are lucky to be freely walking the streets of this fair nation.

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