Paving the way for more games to air on local CBS and FOX affiliates, the NFL has tweaked its single header protection rule, which required home teams playing on Sunday afternoons to be the only game on local TV.
The rule was initially created at a time when the NFL also employed the blackout rule that required a game to be sold out 72 hours before kickoff to be televised in local markets. The rule harkens back to a day when teams relied on ticket sales and worried that fans wouldn’t attend games if they could just stay home and watch for free.
But times have changed, and television, not ticket sales, is the primary source of revenue for the NFL now. The league has already abandoned the blackout rule and last year began to relax the single header protection rule. Last year the league allowed FOX or CBS to air a game when the home team was playing on the other network twice a season, and this year FOX and CBS can do it four times a season.
“At the end of the day, it just means more football for more fans, and more people will get more games on Sunday,” NFL Executive Vice President for Media Brian Rolapp said, via Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal.
More football for more fans is never a bad thing.