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NFL Blackout Rule Under Review

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Blue Bolt, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    NFL blackout rule flagged for review

    [​IMG]
    The Federal Communications Commission is reviewing a nearly 50-year-old rule that allows the National Football League to block games from being shown on TV in a home team's market unless its stadium sells out 72 hours before kickoff.

    Monday is the deadline for the public to weigh in.

    Two San Diego Chargers games were blacked out this year and three were kept off TV in 2010.

    The commission passed its regulation in 1975, preventing cable systems from carrying a sporting event that is blacked out on local broadcast television stations. Even before then, the issue had received presidential scrutiny, the Associated Press reported last week.

    Hip to the end of the FCC's public comment period Monday, a website called endblackouts.com has helped make criticizing the policy easy for aggrieved football fans in San Diego and elsewhere.

    Fans who want to cut out the middle man and post their comments directly with the FCC can do so here. Simply scroll down to proceeding number 12-3 labeled "Commission Seeks Comments On Petition For Rulemaking Seeking Elimination Of The Sport Blackout Rule" and click on the link.

    After this season, the most frustrated football fans outside of San Diego may be those in Buffalo, N.Y., where three games were blacked out; Tampa, Fla., which missed out on five games and Cincinnati, which was unable to watch six of its team's eight home games.

    Managed by a group called the Sports Fans Coalition, which has lobbied for a change for years, endblackouts.com calls the sports blackout rule "unethical and counterproductive."

    "The leagues think this will get people to buy more tickets, but as we fans know, ticket prices are way too high for many to afford, especially in these tough economic times," the site says.

    Here's its pitch:

    If you ever tried to watch your home team play, only to find that the game was blacked out... If you ever wanted to attend the game, but just couldn't afford the costs of tickets, parking and concessions, yet couldn't even watch the game on TV because the game didn't sell out...Or if you just think it's plain wrong for your government to be propping up the leagues' blackout policies...

    Now is the time to be heard.

    In the National Football League, where blackouts are less common than they were, there were 9 in 2008, 22 in 2009, 26 in 2010 and 16 last season. The Associated Press reported this week that NFL blackouts decreased from 40 percent of all games in the 1980s to 8 percent in the 2000s.

    But fed up fans have been sending letters to the FCC for weeks to complain about NFL blackouts, the Buffalo News reported. Its newspaper story said:

    One of the letters, published publicly by the FCC, was from Kevin Hanna, a Newfane resident who wrote to Federal Communications Secretary Marlene H. Dortch in recent weeks on a small slip of seascape-themed note paper.

    “I’m handicapped and can’t go to the Buffalo Bills games,” Hanna writes, explaining he’s been a dedicated NFL fan for more than 40 years. “I can only watch them on TV. As a taxpayer, I help pay for the stadium. I should be able to see the games.”
     
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  2. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    Good to hear they are finally doing something about this. As long as these teams are being subsidized by the pubic by paying for stadium, paying for additional law enforcement during Super Bowls, and paying for parades when the teams win, they shouldn't have the right to withhold from those who simply can't afford to go to the games
     
  3. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    so now an NFL team owner has to subsidize the poor? That owner does have to pay for his team to go on the road for 10 games every season, I bet that is not cheap. He does have to pay for a front office and a coaching staff and bunch of trainers along with a team Doctor and his staff. Those training facilities do not operate year round for free. And on top of all those Insurance and Health Premiums he has to pay for the front office and staff aren’t cheap. Face it San Diego does not have enough fans in this town to support the team. Those that care are there. People have gotten spoiled and want everything their way.

    I think the blackout rule is a good rule. And I wonder how many more fans would go to a baseball game if they were not shown on TV for free. BUT each Baseball team has a contract for the rights to broadcast each game. If Baseball would do the same thing as the NFL, each team would get the same exact amount of money to spend, you would not have the Yankees and Red Sox being able to pay a player $125,000,000.00 to play ball. But we all know that will never happen.
     
  4. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    If they don't like it, don't get subsidized by the public. when you do that, the rules change for you
     
  5. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I understand your position... I mean the congress forcing the NFL to show home games at all back in the early 70's empovrished those poor owners... :rolleyes:

    If baseball were an exciting sport, and teams balanced more people would show up. Now they show up to see the Braves and Yankees lose while shilling out top dollar for their rosters...
     
  6. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    there are lots of things that are built and maintained with Tax Dollars then they turn right around and charge you. Toll Roads and Bridges, National Parks, Convention Centers, are but a few of them.
     
  7. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    Very true, and no one is saying they should give away TV viewing for free, unfortunately for them, we already pay for it. It is wrapped into our cable bills, which in turn pay the networks, who in turn pay the NFL
     
  8. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    I don't have a big problem with the concept of blackouts, I just don't like how it is currently administered. I live 150 miles away from Qualcomm Stadium, it should not be an issue for me. But since I am considered part of L.A. (against my will), I get screwed.
     
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  9. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Yeah, right there with you. How could anyone consider Big Bear part of LA! You dont have to chew the air before breathing in BB...

    I hate the blackout policy. I don't care what the owners think, I don't care if anyone sympathies with them or likes it. Their choice. It is archaic. The NFL is making money hand, over fist via the tv revenue, and yet they still black out most of SO CAL because it is a secondary market. Bull!
     
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  10. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    I agree that they're making money hand over fist, but they also have to spend 100% (or close to it) of shared revenue on player salaries. They get the overwhelming majority of the rest of their income from asses in the seats on gameday. I understand the frustration, but if you end up blacked out, look for a live stream on the interwebs.
     
  11. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Show me the numbers breakdown you are discussing, because according to the numbers I have seen you are well off base.

    Further, the 'asses in seats' revenue is a drop in the bucket compared to the other forms of revenue such as licensing and merchandising.

    Further, if you want 'asses in seats' you do not limit the availability for people to see your product, you expand it, build excitement and show it is 'the place to be'.
     
  12. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    Best solution(s) other than just putting every game on local tv:

    Make NFL Sunday Ticket available to EVERYONE w/ cable or On Demand PPV the games locally.

    I have mixed feeling about the blackout rule, I mostly think it's bullshit, but I get why it exists. I think eliminating it would actually force teams (like ours) to get better or play to a half empty stadium.
     
  13. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I would agree with that. However, given the schickle grubing way the owners seem to think, I would hate to see them charging $300+ per view...

    Agree 120% with your last comment... (does this mean the end of the world is neigh? ;))
     
  14. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    What the hell is a SCHICKLE?
     
  15. Nomad

    Nomad Very Senior Member

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    Look it up in the urban dictionary, I can't tell you here.
     
  16. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    Sunday ticket cost a little over $300 IIRC. No way could they charge $300 a game, probably more like $30.
    Nope, it's Miller Time.
    He meant shekel.

    Conc duzn't spelh very gud.
     
  17. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Waaaat! Slandur! Slandur eye tale yew! ;)
     
  18. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    That's what I figured but these young'uns these days have all kind of new sayins.
     
  19. BlazingBolt

    BlazingBolt BoltTalker

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    The blackout rule doesn't sell tickets. It's purpose is to sell tickets but it doesn't. People don't go to games solely because it's not going to be on TV so the rule has no actual use.

    The League should want to get rid of the rule since all it does is hurt its television ratings.
     
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  20. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    TBH, I have a feeling it actually does more harm than good, as in people refuse to pay to go to the games specifically because of the stupidity of the blackout rule, and ultimately drives a fanbase towards complete apathy.
     
  21. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    What I think it does is much like what the Thursday night games do for people who dont have the NFL Network. It makes them say 'so what, I missed the game'. Not sure that is what the NFL wants people thinking about their product.
     

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