NFL suspends local blackout policy for 2015
Phoenix, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - NFL owners voted Monday to suspend the league's local TV blackout policy for the 2015 season.
The blackouts will be suspended for preseason and regular-season games. The NFL will re-evaluate the rule after the season.
The blackout policy was instituted in the early 1970s when NFL teams relied primarily on ticket sales to generate revenue. The rule stated that if a game wasn't sold out 72 hours prior to kickoff, they would be blacked out in the local TV markets.
There were no local blackouts during the 2014 regular season and only two in 2013.
The Federal Communications Commission last fall repealed its blackout rules, which ended its reinforcement of the NFL's policy but did not stop the league from enforcing blackouts.
It was one of two major broadcasting changes decided at the Biltmore in Phoenix on Monday. The contest between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars on Oct. 25 at Wembley Stadium in London will be distributed over a digital platform that will be available worldwide.
The game will remain available on over-the-air television in the Jacksonville and Buffalo markets. It will mark the first time the NFL will distribute a national game on a platform other than a TV network.