NFL’s Blackout Policy Penalizes Taxpayers

Posted By: Abdul · 1/3/2014 6:08:00 AM

I will fully admit that as intelligent as I am when it comes to sports, sometimes I am like Fred Flintstone on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise.    However, given enough time I can usually figure things out, except for one thing, the blackout rule.

It is the policy in the NFL that if a game doesn’t sell out; it cannot be aired in a local television market.  I did some research and found out this rather archaic policy was created back in the day when most team revenue came from ticket sales as opposed to broadcast rights.

There is a move by the Federal Communication Commission to end the blackout rule and it could not come at a better time.

As I type this column this morning, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Green Bay (who are all in the playoffs) are on the verge of having their games blacked out due to thousands of tickets still going unsold. 

The NFL says the rule is important to support local teams.  Whatever!

What I find most offensive about this, is that the people who are getting the short end of the stick are the people who made it possible for these teams to have a place to play, i.e. the taxpayers.   There is something fundamentally wrong when the people who footed 87-percent of the tab for Lucas Oil Stadium (of course I could argue in reality the taxpayers picked up the whole tab and then some) may not be able to watch Saturday’s game against Kansas City because the Colts can’t sell 3,000 tickets to a 67,000-seat stadium.

Of course, looking at the NFL’s attitude regarding the blackout policy, it’s easy to see why they can’t fill the place.