WASHINGTON – The NFL, which is trying to maintain its TV blackout of home games that don't sell out, missed an opportunity 40 years ago to preserve an even more restrictive policy when it rebuffed an effort by President Richard Nixon to lift the hometown blackout just for playoff games.Continue reading here.
On a previously unreported tape recording, now in the National Archives, Nixon told his attorney general to offer the league a deal: Allow playoff games to be televised in the hometown city, and the president would block any legislation requiring regular-season home games to be televised as well. At the time, the NFL blacked out all home games, whether they were sellouts or not.
The president was a serious fan and in the early 1970s, he shared the anger of Washington residents who couldn't watch Redskins games on TV, former aides recalled. The Redskins routinely sold out and the NFL blackout policy left no way for Washington fans without tickets to watch home games. In October 1972, Nixon's Justice Department had even told Congress it was time for some modification of the blackout policy "in the public interest."
Sunday, February 12, 2012
NFL Passed on Nixon's Blackout Offer
Interesting read on the topic of NFL blackouts: