Interesting article from Buffalo's WGR Radio about a campaign by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to reform the NFL's TV blackout rules. I see the NFL's point on blacking out home games with unsold seats, but I think the rule is outdated and can limit fan interest. If people don't want to go to a game in bad weather between bad teams, that shouldn't necessarily restrict people from watching at home. NFL tickets are expensive, and many fans don't have the option to go to a game, especially a non-desirable one. They should still be able to root for their team on TV. Here's the article:
The Buffalo Bills were responsible for four of the NFL's seven blacked-out games during the 2006 campaign.
Chuck Schumer is asking the NFL to help knock that figure down to zero.
"It is in the best interests of the Bills and the NFL to have the widest possible fan base for this team," Schumer said. "The NFL needs to do everything it can to prevent blackouts next season."
According to a press release from the senator's office, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell "pledged to work with Senator Schumer and the Bills to help shape the schedule to lessen the possibility of blackouts" in 2007.
Schumer thinks the rise in blacked out games is due to the fact that four of the Bills home games were late in the year against teams that "were less than optimal draws." He also noted that the Bills have one of the largest stadiums and smallest markets in the NFL.
Schumer urged Goodell to put opponents like the Jets, Giants, Cowboys and Patriots toward the end of the Bills home schedule to ensure the best possible draw at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Bills' other 2007 home games are against Baltimore, Denver, Cincinnati and Miami.
Posted by Ted Rossman at 2/15/2007 12:53:00 PM