NFL Suspends Local TV Blackout Policy for 2015

The NFL Owners Meetings in Phoenix got off to an interesting start on Monday. The 32 teams voted to suspend the league's local TV blackout policy for the 2015 season.

The blackout policy has been in place since 1973, when the NFL mandated any game not sold out at least 72 hours before kickoff would not be seen in that team's local TV market. It was conceived in an attempt to sell more tickets but the rise in costs to attend a game (and the proliferation of high definition televisions) rendered it obsolete.

The timing of the vote is curious because one of the teams most affected by the blackout policy is the San Diego Chargers, a franchise mired in a great stadium debate. The Bolts did not have any game blacked out in 2014, but between 2010 and 2013 were responsible for for 10 of the 59 local television blackouts across the league.

It will be interesting to see if the ability to see games at home without an 11th-hour ticket push will affect attendance at one of the oldest facilities in North American professional sports.

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