NFL continues to face assault on blackout rule

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

  1. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods.
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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    Via the Associated Press, FCC commissioner Ajit Pai described the league’s blackout rule as “outdated,” and he urged his fellow FCC commissioners to vote in favor of repealing the rule.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.
     
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  2. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka
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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.
     
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  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
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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.
     
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  5. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods.
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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.
     
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  6. Loki

    Loki Assault Admin
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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.
     
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  7. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka
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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.
     
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  8. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods.
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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.
     
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  9. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler
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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:
     
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  10. shark86x

    shark86x Pro-Bowler
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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!
     
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