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The NFL must rethink it's blackout policy!

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    By Curtis Egan
    <em>BoltTalk Staff Writer</em>

    <a href="http://www.customauthenticjerseys.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/nfl-blackout.jpg"><img class="alignright" title="NFL Blackout" src="http://www.customauthenticjerseys.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/nfl-blackout.jpg" alt="" width="270" height="231" /></a>How many of you would love to bank $20.4 billion in US dollars? I know I would. Get this- that is how much the NFL will be paid by CBS, NBC and FOX for television rights fees through 2013. Yeah, that is billion with a B. The NFL is making money like never before; they are a Juggernaut corporation that well oiled and working well. They are making enough money to build new stadiums in every city the existing franchises play in and still have loads of green left over.

    And with all of this money, the NFL is still holding on to the archaic mentality of blacking out non-sell out home games. Don't the men who control the golden goose see that this is actually costing them money? Times are hard, money is tight. People would be going to see the games if they can. But if they can't be there in person, they would watch on Television, thus increasing local revenue via commercials and such. They would still be interested in their team and buy gear to wear, items to decorate their houses and root for their teams.

    The NFL, blinded by greed, and shortsighted as always chooses to punish the local populations by refusing to allow them to see their teams games unless the game sell out at least 72 hours before the game. 72 hours, wait a minute! What? Where did that number come from? Well turns out it is a Congressional decision because in 1973 Congress passed and President Nixon signed a bill mandating broadcasting of home NFL games if there was a sellout 72 hours before kickoff. This was to insure that the stations who were showing the games did not bring in other teams to local markets and not show the home markets.

    In 1973 perhaps the 72 hour window made sense, it was not as easy to reroute communications or get cameras from point A to point B. However we live in a world today where with a flick of a switch fiber optic lines are disengaged and others are engaged. There is no reason to require the 72 hours; the time could be changed to 24 hours and still have the same impact. It is strange that the NFL has not even tried to have this archaic law changed, no?

    In the NFL, any broadcaster that has a signal that hits any area within a 75 mile (120 km) radius of an NFL stadium may only broadcast a game if that game is a road game, or if the game sells out 72 hours or more before the start time for the game.

    If sold out in less than 72 hours, or is close to being sold out by the deadline, the team can sometimes request a time extension. Furthermore, broadcasters with NFL contracts are required to show their markets' road games. Sometimes if a game is very close to selling out, but not quite there, a broadcaster with rights to show the nearly sold out game will buy the remaining tickets (and give them to local charities) so it can broadcast the game (usually, this would involve no more than a few hundred tickets because of cost).

    Other teams elect to close off sections of their stadium, but cannot sell these tickets for any game that season if they choose to do so. As a result, if the home team's game is a Sunday day game both networks can air only one game each in that market. (Until 2001, this rule applied whether or not the game was blacked out, however, this was changed because some markets virtually never aired doubleheaders as a result.) Usually, but not always, when each network can show only one game each in a market, the two stations work out between themselves which will show an early game and which will show a late game. This only affects the primary market, and not markets in a 75 mile (121 km) radius, which always gets a doubleheader each Sunday.

    Now we have seen locally that the 75 mile (121 km) radius is also a bit subjective. Southern California residents in Riverside and Los Angeles counties are also blacked out. That is because the long standing league policy is now interoperated as: This includes all signals within a 75 mile radius of the stadium and those areas whose television signal reaches within that 75 mile zone. The league's policy affects all telecasts, both cable and satellite.

    So just your television signal going within 75 miles of Qualcomm stadium can have you blacked out. Amazing, in a world where satellite television can let you watch live what is going on at the other side of the world, we now have people trying to measure television signals. So how far does a television signal actually go?

    I live in Riverside County, I do not get any San Diego stations from DirecTV, unless I pay for them, yet I am still blacked out, so what signal of mine is actually going within 75 miles of Qualcomm? Where is the logic in this, does the NFL or Chargers think or the fans as anything more than a source of income? I would hope they do, but it is times like this that I have to really wonder.

    "The blackout policy is a longstanding policy in the NFL,'' NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said recently. "It has served us well. It has served the public well, and I do not anticipate any changes with our blackout policy.''

    Goodell was asked recently where if the Jaguars are an endangered species. "It's one of the markets where we're seeing some challenges from ticket sales coming into the 2009 season,'' he said, knowing that the team's season-ticket foundation has shrunk from 42,000 to 25,000 in one year. "And we'll have other markets that'll have those challenges. It's all part of the challenges that we're seeing in the economy, and what our clubs are going through.''

    Does the policy still serve you well Mr. Goodell? It is alienating your clientele in a time of financial crisis for many people! There is questions as to if the Jacksonville Jaguars will sell out a single home game this season. Clearly this is a minor market, because I am sure Goodell and the rest of the league fat cats would be falling over themselves to make adjustments if the same thing happened in New York or the DC area. But so long as it is the small out of the way markets the NFL will continue to rake in billions of dollars happily and thumb their noses at everyone who has to watch the bottom of the screen to see what your home team is doing.

    The NFL is prosperous beyond my imagination. The $20.4 billion is ONLY from television revenues. It is not from merchandise sales or any other avenue of profit. The NFL can afford to reach out to the fans, to show the loyalty to us, that they themselves are demanding from us. They need to make it a two way street, not just make commercials about how much the NFL cares, but SHOW that the NFL cares. Right now people are losing their houses, facing uncertainties like never before, they can't even sit down and watch their local NFL team, because they are in a small market. Thanks NFL-

    Thanks for nothing!

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