Tuesday, July 3, 2012

NFL Blackout Fallout, Day 2

In watching and reading the local & national news reports on the NFL's new blackout policy, the reactions were predictably upbeat. Even though the facts weren't always spot-on.

As I wrote yesterday, the NFL isn't making any real concessions since it is still threatening fans with blackouts if they don't buy enough tickets; they've merely admitted the high thresholds may be unrealistic in modern-day medium-markets.

And since the Bucs haven't yet said they'd go with the 85% option (because it might cost them money), it certainly is a bit a early for fans to rejoice. But that won't stop media outlets from celebrating!

Last night, FOX 13 in Tampa reported that "Team owners passed a rule that will let games be broadcast, even if just 85 percent of the tickets have been sold." Of course, it failed to mention "if the team chooses the 85% option." But then FOX piled it on:

"If that rule had been in place last year, not one Buccaneer game would have been blacked out."

Not true. As the Tampa Tribune correctly reported, "five of the seven games would have been televised in the Tampa market, with only the home opener on Sept. 11 against Detroit and Sept. 25 against Atlanta (blacked out)." Again, if the Bucs set their threshold to 85%.

To its credit, FOX 13 acknowledged the rules are basically irrelevant in today's modern TV era where the league makes $3 billion annually from the networks. But hopefully the positive reaction is enough to convince the teams and NFL that it's a good idea to make games as easy to watch for their local fans.

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