The NFL is becoming a product where more and more fans are enjoying football games at home as opposed to going to the stadium. With high-definition broadcasts, surround sound, and 3-D programming, the league has acknowledged that the at-home experience for watching football has evolved and many more fans prefer to stay home, resulting in blackouts. But in a report from the Wall Street Journal, the National Football League as come up with a possible solution for fans who choose to stay home.
Team owners voted to allow games to be shown in local markets as long as 85% of the tickets are sold for their team. The team will be allowed to set a goal of at least 85% or higher for the games to be televised locally. But to make sure teams do not set an easy mark for allowing the game to be shown, they will have to share more revenue once the percentage of tickets sold benchmark is exceeded.
This can be good news for fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cincinnati Bengals, who accounted for 11 of the 16 total blackouts the NFL had in 2011. But what percentage will those teams set to lift the blackouts? If the team is looking at it from a monetary perspective, they may keep the percentage of tickets sold high throughout the year so that they can hold on to most of the revenue.
The announcement of blackouts being lifted is great news for fans. Regardless of the approach team owners take setting a percentage for games, the league has finally shown they care. Somewhat.
(Follow me on Twitter: @BayCave)