NFL continues suspension of local TV blackout policy for 2016
NFL teams have approved a one-year suspension of the league’s local television blackout policy for another season, reports Sports Business Journal’s Daniel Kaplan.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell added that the league needs to further examine the policy before deciding to do away with the rule.
The NFL introduced the first suspension of the rule for the 2015 season, and planned to reevaluate the policy after this year.
The NFL’s blackout policy, active since the 1970s, mandates that a game must be blacked out on local TV markets in the event that fewer than 85 percent of available seats have been sold 72 hours prior to kickoff. However, the deadline could be extended if a team believed it was close to selling out the game.
There were zero regular-season blackouts announced last season and two in 2013. According to Kaplan, average attendance fell 0.5 percent in 2015. In the 1970s, roughly half of the NFL games were blacked out because not enough tickets were sold.