Hear the collective applause from football fans across America? That’s because the National Football League (NFL) has confirmed that it will no longer block local TV broadcasts of games if they fail to sell enough tickets in local stadiums, reports Variety.
Brian McCarthy, spokesperson for the League, confirmed the good news via a simple Tweet via his @NFLprguy account:
no blackouts in ’15 #nflseason. Clubs voted to suspend policy for 1-year. will evaluate impact of the suspension after season
— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) March 23, 2015
According to the blackout “rule,” local TV stations are not permitted to telecast an NFL game if tickets aren’t sold out at least three days prior to game day. Luckily, Americans love football, and this never happened last year. However, in 2013, deep in the heart of the recession, there were two blackouts. In total, from 2009 to 2012, there were 79 game blackouts to thoroughly annoy fans trying to watch from home.
While a decline over the past few years might signal, in theory, that ticket sales are up, this may not necessarily be the case. The number of sold tickets required to constitute a “sold out” game was lowered in 2012, reports ESPN (as cited by Variety) thus making it a bit easier to avoid blackouts.
All that, however, could be in the past should the NFL decide to do away with the blackout rule altogether going forward.
In more great news, the October 25 game between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars will be available via free online streaming through all digital platforms around the world. It’s a happy day for football fans.