31 May 2011

The NFL Needs to Revamp the Blackout Rules

For almost as long as the NFL has been around, there have been blackout rules. Before 1973, a game would not be shown in the home market regardless of whether or not it was a sellout (for example, residents of New York City could not watch the Giants play under any circumstances. Not even for a Championship Game). In 1973, the rules were slightly changed to where the game can be shown locally only if the game was sold out 72 hours before kickoff (although teams can request an extension). But I think it is time for the rules to be updated again. 

Now let me make this loud and clear: I do not think the blackout rule should be eliminated in total. However, my theory is that a game will be shown locally only if 85% of the seats are sold out by 24 hours before kickoff. 
I do not think the blackout rules as they stand right now are pretty much ineffective. Preventing home fans from watching their team just because they were 2,000 seats short of a sellout is pretty stupid, in my opinion. And the teams that struggle to sell out games get hurt even more because they are at a disadvantage in trying to build up their fanbase. 
Granted the attendance situation has been very good for the NFL, compared to the early 90's when about a third of games were blacked-out while only a tenth were blacked out last season. But I do believe that the blackout rules are way too rigid in a time when the economy is not great and people are not willing to spend a fortune to go to games anymore when they can enjoy them on their crystal clear HDTV's. 

No comments:

Post a Comment