NFL continues to face assault on blackout rule

Discussion in 'Rival Team Forum' started by Bearstuff, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods. Staff Member SuperFan

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    NFL continues to face assault on blackout rule

    Posted by Mike Florio on August 13, 2014, 10:26 AM EDT
    [​IMG]Getty Images
    The effort to eliminate the NFL’s blackout rule continues, and the NFL continues to not like that.
    Via the Associated Press, FCC commissioner Ajit Pai described the league’s blackout rule as “outdated,” and he urged his fellow FCC commissioners to vote in favor of repealing the rule.
    “Right now, the FCC is officially on the side of blackouts,” Pai said. “We should be on the side of sports fans. The FCC shouldn’t get involved in handing out special favors or picking winners and losers. And in my view, there is no reason for the FCC to be involved in the sports blackout business.”
    Pai’s comments come eight months after the FCC proposed eliminating the blackout rule and sought public comment on the potential elimination of the rule that prevents the local broadcast of games not sold out within 72 hours before kickoff. Pai wants the issue to go to a vote, and he needs only two of his four colleagues to agree.
    The league said in December that it will “strongly oppose” elimination of the blackout rule. That “strong opposition” has consisted publicly of a clumsy effort to throw money at Lynn Swann and to craft a nonsensical effort to blame the controversy on “Pay-TV lobbyists” who hope to “change the current rule and charge fans for games they currently watch for free.”
    Yes, because the NFL will rush to do business with the “Pay-TV” companies who hired the “Pay-TV lobbyists” who managed to scuttle a rule that has been in place for decades.
    More recently, Swann took his effort to the airwaves owned by the NFL, without disclosing on the air that the NFL has launched and is funding the effort — and without making very much sense when trying to make the case that the NFL needs to retain the ability to black out games.
    The argument goes like this: If the NFL is forced to make games that aren’t sold out locally available in the home market on free or pay TV, then fans throughout the nation won’t be able to watch any games on free TV.
    It’s the NFL’s version of the Chewbacca defense, a gigantic non-sequitur aimed at getting fans to fear that, if the NFL loses the ability to black out games in markets where the stadium isn’t sold out, the NFL will black out the ability of 80 million Americans who rely on free, over-the-air network television to watch any games at all.
    That’ll never happen. If the NFL ever undermines the availability of games on a national basis via free TV, the broadcast antitrust exemption would be repealed almost instantly, destroying the ability of the NFL to sell its TV rights on a collective basis.
    Of course, reality doesn’t matter. The goal is to find a way to get fans behind the idea of keeping the blackout rule. And the best/only strategy the NFL can muster consists of twisting the facts in order to scare fans into thinking they’d lose something they’ll never actually lose.
  2. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    I'm actually all for the blackout rule, doesn't bother me at all. If your fanbase wants to watch their team play that bad, then goto the game; if not then the fanbase has no reason to bitch, TV should be there for those that couldn't go(no tickets available) or those that cannot afford to go(lower classes).

    if your city cannot get sell outs, then your city probably shouldn't have a team.
  3. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    Thank God that will never happen in Chi-Town. :thumb:
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  4. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Or in most NFL towns which is why it doesn't bother me. You have 2-3 markets where it is an issue, those markets have to lose their team and have them move to a better market where fear of a blackout isn't an issue.
  5. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods. Staff Member SuperFan

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    Teams that have issues with blackouts:
    Jacksonville
    Miami
    Minnesota
    Tampa Bay
    Atlanta
    San Diego
    Buffalo
    St Louis
    Carolina
    Cleveland
    Tennessee

    That's a third of the league.

    Don't overlook the fact that teams buy up seats, or close off sections to avoid this. Sometimes the local broadcaster will buy up seats because it is cheaper than losing the advertising revenue.

    Attendance at NFL games is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay down. It's too expensive for most, not just the poor. I looked into going to the Buffalo game and can't afford it.
  6. Loki

    Loki Assault Admin Staff Member

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    That's the issue right there.

    But.... when you decide you're gonna pay people millions per year, you're gonna have to get the money somewhere.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    http://www.buffalonews.com/city-reg...e-only-second-nfl-blackout-this-year-20131216

    Only 2 games got blacked out last year as of that article(12/16) at in this case it was a bad game in bad weather, don't care why SD and the Bills were the only 2 w/2 weeks to go that's not 1/3rd of the league.

    In 2011 and 2012 there were 15 and 16 games.
    http://www.sportsfans.org/2012/12/despite-new-blackout-policy-nfl-blacked-out-15-games-in-2012/

    TB and SD and Buf had multiple and Cincy Oak each had one. That's 5 teams in 2012, probably the same in 2011. They have essentially 5 teams that are a constant problem, not 10. And other then SD none of those teams are any good. The Chargers need to relocate to LA or another major market location and be done w/it; SD doesn't care about the NFL. LA doesn't care about the NFL either but it at least has the population and money to support it.

    As for how they get past the blackout rules, I don't care how they aren't blacking out games that often, 15 out of 250+ games a year is not a problem.

    Problem for the NFL, and I've been saying it for awhile, is that watching the games at home is just as good as games at a stadium, and you don't have to worry about the traffic or the cost or the time away from family. w/HD TV and pro analysis and instant reply and 1/2 time programs there is no competition. Going to a game for me is about the tailgate and party, and maybe the other fans, but for the game itself TV is the only way to go imo. If the ticket sales are down, then they need to address the cost of the tickets and parking and concessions, not lift the blackout rules.
  8. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods. Staff Member SuperFan

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    Ric, you need to look deeper. The teams I listed had to either purchase tickets themselves to avoid the embarrassment of a blackout, or had local broadcasters buy them.

    Yes there were only a couple of teams w/ blackouts last year, but only because the problem was so large the cash wasn't available to trick the public into thinking they didn't actually have attendance problems.
  9. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    The NFL has made attendance at games a sport for the rich. Between the ticket itself , parking, and refreshment a Bronco game would run anywhere from $100-$200 for one person depending on the cost of your seat. For $100 at their highest point the punts are still below you but the view of the mountains or the skyline is awesome. For $200 you might actually be able to follow the game. Too rich for my blood. :nonono2:
  10. shark86x

    shark86x Pro-Bowler SuperFan

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    Bingo.

    As far as using blackouts to cause people to buy tickets, it doesn;t work. Look at the Chicago Blackhawks. For how many decades did Dollar Bill refuse to televise home games? Attendance and viewership dropped. The team wasn't making money. Dollar Bill dies and Rocky takes over, the absolute first thing he does is starts televising home games. Now it may be on a cable channel, but it's still a televised home game. Something I hadn't seen in like 30 years. Attendance started going up, the fan base increased, and the team saw more money coming in.

    Not televising home games is dumb. Maybe a few people don't go to a game because they can see it on TV, but that has to be an insignificant number compared to the number of people who don't go because they can't afford a seat license, a ticket, parking, and overpriced food and beverages. BUT, those very fans who can't afford attending, are more than able to spend a few bucks on merchandise. Remember the movie Spaceballs? Merchandising, Merchandising, Merchandising, Merchandising!
  11. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    I don't care what trick they use, they did it and there was no blackout. The team isn't making money off the stadiums anymore so they really aren't that worried, their money comes from TV deals. Now if the simple answer is to lower the costs of the tickets in those cities, but I think you would find that even if they did fans wouldn't show up. B/c most of the teams you pointed to aren't good and have had long bouts of being bad (ATL/SD as the exceptions).

    But my point is that THOSE teams I pointed out are the problems, when the issue is so big that they cannot hide the issue then they need to move. Especially for a good team like SD.
  12. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods. Staff Member SuperFan

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    So, you support the blackout rule (which was created to ensure stadium attendance), even though a third of the league has to pull tricks to get the games broadcast locally? That just doesn't make sense. Why not just do away with the blackout rule, and let teams determine what cities will support them by attending games? Why go through the gyrations?

    Me, I'm all for transparency. No smoke and mirrors, no half truths, no lies. You can support lies if you want, but I'm surprised (based upon how much you "call it like it is").
  13. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    To me the blackout rule is showing you 3 teams have an issue and should look at moving.

    The others are misdirection via buying their own tickets, or having someone provider purchase the tickets. But imo(and I've seen nothing given by you or found on the internet) then those #'s are not huge, Got a 60K stadium and 5K don't show, buy the tickets easy enough, 60K stadium and 10K show up, black out b/c no one is taking that kind of hit on 50K tickets.
  14. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    here I did some research, Last year Bills owner purchased tickets for a game, Bills stadium holds 73K people, he purchased 5K of them(lol I damn near hit that one on the head

    http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2013-11-15/bills-owner-buys-unsold-tickets-to-avoid-blackout

    Bengals 2 K tickets needed to be sold, it's a 65K stadium

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.co...mble-to-avoid-first-nfl-blackout-of-the-year/

    ESPN shows 3 groups struggling, you are talking 5-8K tops tickets not selling out in 50-80K stadiums.

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs/2013/story/_/id/10222617/thousands-unsold-seats-lambeau-field

    btw, I have yet to see anything in this research showing 1/3rd of the league is struggling to sell tickets, all the research keeps coming back w/SD, Cincy, Bills, etc.

    When the stadium is 90+% full they SHOULD buy the remaining tickets. My problem is there is no problem, the system works. If a team were to decide to blackout b/c of 5k unsold tickets they should get blasted by their fans; but if the fans were to not walk into their stadium perferring to stay home and that 50-80K stadium is now only 1/3rd full then the team SHOULD have the right to black out the game.
  15. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods. Staff Member SuperFan

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    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. The great an powerful Oz will make sure that "only the deserving" will get their reward of a broadcast. The great and powerful Oz will also make sure that fans in general have no idea of attendance issues.

    Cameras don't show all of the stands. Fans can't tell that the team isn't supported from their couch.

    The Bears have the smallest stadium in the league, and 85% of the tickets sold still leaves over 9,000 empty seats. That is tough on the vendors, parking, area restaurants, hotels, cabs and the cities economy in general. Imagine the impact of larger stadiums. And all of that assumes that the team doesn't have an interest in the stadium, which over half do.

    Then somewhere in the future, those cities will be held hostage as the teams ask for new stadiums (maybe with less seats, but still damned expensive on taxpayers).
  16. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods. Staff Member SuperFan

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    LOL, you think he purchased 5k tickets to fill the stadium???? He purchased 5k tickets to give the illusion that only 11k seats were empty.

    You're missing the point entirely, to keep from blacking out, they only need 85% of tickets sold. The teams are buying those tickets to get to 85%, not 100%.

    You're looking at PFT's stories about the team buying tix, what about the broadcasters doing it. What about the stadiums that close off entire sections in order to manipulate the system.

    I think it's cute you think the blackout rule is being "straight up" with fans....and taxpayers.
  17. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    coming from the guy not providing any proof of his #'s...Oz is definately exposed. I expect your next post to have some kind of sources proving that 1/3rd of NFL teams are struggling to sell out, and that they are struggling to get the final 8-9-10K + tickets sold on a consistant basis.

    So your point is that 20% of SOME stadiums are empty? that's the point? And again feel free to give me the #'s on 1/3rd I'm still waiting for proof of their supposed troubles. As of right now 4 or so teams are struggling over the last 2-3 years, of which 1 or 2 are good and shouldn't have issues and should look at moving. The others(Bills) just need to be good and their stadium would sell out.

    You don't change rules for the vast minority struggling in a billion dollar business.

    PFT, ESPN, Sporting news.....ya I used multiple sources...3x's as many as you have.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  18. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods. Staff Member SuperFan

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    Pay very close attention, because I am tired of saying it....

    This isn't about selling out. It is about selling 85% of the tickets. Further, it's about selling 85% of available tickets after stadiums have blocked off entire sections.

    My sources: Time, Rick Harrow's "beyond the scoreboard" (he has a website, but I was actually listening to him on the radio)

    This has been a problem for years, so only looking at last year's numbers doesn't exactly make sense. All of the franchises I listed have had blackout issues within the last few years.

    Taxpayers are asked to fund (at least in part) new stadiums costing in the billions, and thanks to the manipulations done in order to keep broadcasts going, the taxpayers don't have a clue what the true need is or whether the return on investment is even possible.

    Smoke and mirrors.
  19. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    So in other words you have no credited sources saying that 1/3 rd of the league cannot sell 85% of their stadiums tickets...gotcha. I will continue w/my sited sources saying that over the last 2-3 years only a handfull teams are struggling on any kind of consistant basis.

    If you wanna talk about taxpayer funded stadiums, and all that, so be it, I can see reasons for thinking both ways. But no way the league is trying to create larger stadiums on taxpayer dollars to create more blackouts; they make more in TV revenue then they ever will in stadium revenue; so in no scerio is the NFL going to want to blackout games to try and drive revenue to the stadium.

    If you wanna talk about the ticket prices being 2 high, and therefore leading to these games being blacked out, I'll somewhat agree w/you but I think there's more to it then that. Drop the tickets by 1/4th and they'll still struggle, b/c the team isn't consistantly good and the support from the fanbase is going to be poor regardless.
  20. Jimmors

    Jimmors The Rhymenoceros Staff Member SuperFan

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    This is why im glad i live nowhere near an NFL stadium, i never have to worry about local blackouts :)

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