I think we can all agree that one of the most asinine things in sports is the NFL’s TV blackout rule, which prevents a home game from being shown in that team’s local market unless the game is sold out. This is supposed to encourage people to go to the game instead of staying home to watch, but mostly it just alienates people who live 60 miles away and can’t make the trip and/or people who don’t have the $80 sitting around to pay for a ticket.
(This race? BLACKED OUT!)
Now, the operator of eight NASCAR tracks is touting the idea as a way to fill the stands. Speedway Motorsports’ Bruton Smith has proposed this in response to weakening ticket sales. But instead of embracing the NFL’s concept, NASCAR is basically throwing Smith under the bus for suggesting it.
How bad is the economic situation in the country right now? So bad, that both NFC playoff games this weekend are currently not sold out and may be blacked out in their respective home regions. That’s just a tad bit embarrassing. Especially considering that the Cardinals have never hosted a playoff game since the team moved to Phoenix.
Things are even worse in Minnesota, where 8,000 tickets were still available as of noon today, and no corporate sponsors have lined up to buy tickets to avoid a blackout, which will happen if the game isn’t sold out by 3:30 p.m. tomorrow. The lesson here? If you don’t have the money to buy tickets, live as far away from your favorite NFL team as possible.
Growing up in the dark ages of the Kansas City Chiefs ‘70-’80s, I learned to truly despise the blackout rules of the NFL. KC has since passed that mantle on to teams like Jax and Oakland (or have they?).
(Bemidji-Bunkered Brewers Baby)
While the NFL blackout rules are frustrating, they are at least predictable. And do contain a scintilla of logic. I can’t say the same for MLB broadcast blackouts, after reading a report from Judd Zulgad of the MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE. Read more…