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NFL's stance on blackout policy a precursor to per-game pay per view?


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14 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   DCSholtis

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 01:41 PM

http://www.sportingn...me-pay-per-view

Despite the worst economy since the days of bread lines and Seabiscuit, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reiterated on Thursday that the league's long-standing blackout policy will not change.

So why would pro football's powers-that-be prohibit games not sold out from being televised in the towns where the partially empty stadiums are standing?

Surely, the league realizes that, once the free-TV genie has left the bottle, the bottle will never confine its powers again. Even more surely, someone who draws a paycheck from 280 Park Avenue has sounded an internal alarm regarding the potential impact of the coming generations of HD and 3D televisions upon the ability of the NFL to continue to persuade fans to choose in-person pay-per-view over staying at home and watching the game free of charge.

(mod edit: Redacted for copyright)


Edited by Stuart Sweet, 06 September 2009 - 07:16 PM.

Dan Sholtis
"The Raiders will be back. I have unshakable confidence, the will to win, and I just know that the fire that burns brightest in this building is the will to win. And we will win. We will win."---Al Davis. Rest In Peace, Al

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#2 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 10:22 PM

One could argue that the Sunday Ticket has been a test-case for PPV for years now. They know how many people will pay for the "whole shebang" for a season... so now they just need to extrapolate for other offerings.

Pick your favorite team and get their game each week guaranteed for $XX per season.

Pick a different team each week for $YY per season.

Individual games/teams each week for $ZZ per game.

Frankly, it's hard to see them not adopting this kind of model at some point.

-- I like to go fast (not really)


#3 OFFLINE   Shades228

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 08:33 AM

One could argue that the Sunday Ticket has been a test-case for PPV for years now. They know how many people will pay for the "whole shebang" for a season... so now they just need to extrapolate for other offerings.

Pick your favorite team and get their game each week guaranteed for $XX per season.

Pick a different team each week for $YY per season.

Individual games/teams each week for $ZZ per game.

Frankly, it's hard to see them not adopting this kind of model at some point.


I don't know that many cable companies that can have that much bandwidth ready to be used for 14 HD feeds. I could see home town going PPV like college does now but unless something happens with space on most cable companies the only other provider that would have the space is FIOS.

#4 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 12:15 PM

If the cable companies can't do that... then they could never offer Sunday Ticket either... in which case they couldn't complain about DirecTV having an exclusive on it.

But I do see your point... For cable operations it might be limited to just being able to PPV your local team for the whole season or week-to-week. Maybe on weeks where your local team would be OTA anyway, they could offer an alternate PPV game in your market that week.

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#5 OFFLINE   Jestr40

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 06:45 PM

Personally I don't see this as a bad thing. I would love to pay-per-team for my favorite team if the terms we right. A full commercial free season in HD of the Cowboys for $150 would be great.

#6 OFFLINE   TheRatPatrol

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 11:00 AM

I wish they would do this with all sports. It shouldn't matter where you live, if you're willing to pay for it, then you should be able to watch whatever team/game you want. Do away with territories and blackouts altogether.

#7 OFFLINE   epokopac

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 12:56 PM

I wish they would do this with all sports. It shouldn't matter where you live, if you're willing to pay for it, then you should be able to watch whatever team/game you want. Do away with territories and blackouts altogether.


I agree with you 10,000%. Territories and blackouts are stupid in the 21st century. :soapbox:

#8 OFFLINE   Ira Lacher

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 09:52 AM

It seems pro football is the last sport to adopt the PPV model. And that's probably because the OTA nets are willing to shell out billions for the rights. Nor would I be a bit surprised if that's an unwritten -- or written -- codicil in the contract, requested by the networks, that the NFL will not authorize PPV locally in the home markets.

On the other hand, from the days of Pete Rozelle, the NFL has always realized that mass appeal, meaning commercial TV, is the best means to sell its product. Why would they deviate from that model unless it starts to develop flaws?
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#9 OFFLINE   Juanus

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 10:14 AM

I think that the thing most people are missing is that the idea is to sell tickets. That's what the blackout policy is trying to protect. If tickets are available, the only way to see the game is to buy a ticket. It used to be that all home games were blacked out, whether the game was sold out or not. It took a 1973 act of congress to televise games if they were sold out. This is a healthy explination from Vic Ketchman who writes for Jaguars.com. Personally, I like the blackout rule.

"Vic: One of the things I’ve come to understand is how little fans know about the genesis of the TV blackout rule. When I explain it to them, they get a look on their face as though I’m talking a foreign language. The first thing they always ask me is, “What do you mean all home games were blacked out?” That’s how spoiled we’ve become. There are several events in pro football history worthy of research. For those fans who really want to know the history of the game, I recommend “The League,” by David Harris. If there’s one event in NFL history, however, for which I would like fans to develop a fuller understanding and appreciation, it’s the impact of the playoff weekend of Dec. 23-24, 1972. That’s the weekend professional football became the number one sport in the land. The one o’clock playoff game on Dec. 23 was the “Immaculate Reception” and the four o’clock game was Dallas’ fourth-quarter rally behind Roger Staubach to beat San Francisco. That evening, America was pro football crazy. Anywhere you went, it’s all people wanted to talk about. In those days, TV was a desert of entertainment on Christmas weekend. You’d get the Andy Williams holiday show, followed by the Perry Como Christmas show, followed by Lawrence Welk’s Christmas for Senior Citizens show, etc. The pro football playoff games that weekend were a treat the country devoured. Those games were also blacked out in their hometowns because all home games were blacked out back then. We’re talking about a broadcast rule that was sacrosanct to NFL owners. On Dec. 24, Washington hosted a playoff game, which was blacked out, of course, and that sent Congressmen who were angry that they didn’t get to see the Redskins game on TV on a crusade to end TV blackouts of home games that were sold out. The following summer, just before the regular season began, the 1973 Act of Congress was passed, ordering any game that is sold out 72 hours in advance of kickoff be televised to the home market. NFL owners were outraged. They complained bitterly that they were being forced to give away their product. Harris covers the significance of the ’73 Act of Congress thoroughly. That act expired a few years later but the NFL continues to abide by the 72-hour rule. I would like for fans to understand all of this because I’d like them to have an appreciation for the luxury free TV football is. And I would like everyone to understand what the weekend of Dec. 23-24, 1972, meant to the game we love today. That weekend, in my opinion, was the pivot point of the modern era of professional football. More specifically, Dec. 23, 1972 is the day pro football became our national obsession."

#10 OFFLINE   paulman182

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 12:22 PM

It seems pro football is the last sport to adopt the PPV model.


Are you saying the NBA, MLB, NHL and NASCAR have adopted the PPV model?

I didn't realize that they had.

Equipment includes a buncha stuff that I no longer have interest in detailing


#11 OFFLINE   Ira Lacher

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 03:33 PM

Are you saying the NBA, MLB, NHL and NASCAR have adopted the PPV model?

I didn't realize that they had.

NASCAR doesn't belong on that list. But how many NBA, MLB and NHL games are televised on commercial (please don't call it "free") TV that you can receive without paying a cable or satellite provider for?
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#12 OFFLINE   ARKDTVfan

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 03:56 PM

I'd be willing to pay about $100 per season for just the Broncos games (HD included of course)

#13 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 05:10 PM

NASCAR doesn't belong on that list. But how many NBA, MLB and NHL games are televised on commercial (please don't call it "free") TV that you can receive without paying a cable or satellite provider for?


Don't confuse PPV with being on a cable-only channel.

NBA on TNT is not as "free" as NBA on ABC OTA is... but it still isn't PPV.

Most NFL games are OTA, with the only exceptions being the MNF games and late in the season 8 games on NFL Network... and even for those (MNF and NFL Network), the games are OTA in the home team's market except when the blackout rules prevail.

Lots of MLB on FOX OTA too.

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#14 OFFLINE   sum_random_dork

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 05:16 PM

I would hope that leagues don't move towards a full PPV model. I think the NFL's blackout rule is outdated at this time. We have been living with Raider blackouts for at least 10 years. I think that if some of those games were on TV and people saw how the team was playing they'd be more likely to go to games. TV is their best advertisement tool. You don't see MLB, NBA, and NHL using the blackout rules if a team doesn't sell out, it's only the NFL with this rule.

#15 OFFLINE   Juanus

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 06:00 PM

I would hope that leagues don't move towards a full PPV model. I think the NFL's blackout rule is outdated at this time. We have been living with Raider blackouts for at least 10 years. I think that if some of those games were on TV and people saw how the team was playing they'd be more likely to go to games. TV is their best advertisement tool. You don't see MLB, NBA, and NHL using the blackout rules if a team doesn't sell out, it's only the NFL with this rule.


I am not sure if this thread is off topic or not.
If the Raiders were on TV and people saw how they were playing, I doubt people would want to buy tickets.
The other leagues have blackout rules... maybe not in conjunction with sellouts, but definitely there are blackout rules.
And the argument about people seeing the game on TV to buy tickets... I think its just the opposite. I mean, who is unaware of the team being in town, the time of the game, where the game is played, or how to buy tickets? Jacksonville has had the games on TV (at the owners expense mind you) for the past 10 years. This advertisment has not translated to ticket sales.
The blackout rule is there to protect the ticket. Buy tickets and you can watch the game any way you want to.




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