Sunday, January 24, 2010

NFL blackouts

As you watch the New York Jets in the AFC Championship Game today, consider this--over 40 years ago Jets fans were forced to travel 75 miles outside of New York in order to see their Jets play the Oakland Raiders in the 1968 AFL Championship Game. This was the same Jets team who would become the first AFL team ever to win the Super Bowl when they beat the Baltimore Colts several days later.

Today the NFL institutes blackouts if a team does not sell out a home game 72 hours in advance of the telecast. Back in '68, the AFL and NFL didn't allow fans to watch their teams play at home in fear that giving the games away on television would hurt attendance. And, it didn't matter if the game was sold out or not.

In late December 1968, Jets fans fled to bars, hotels and homes of friends in places like upstate New York and Philadelphia in order to see the game live.

The blackout rule was changed in 1973 when Congress passed anti-blackout legislation. And, among the many calling for this legislation was none other than our then U.S. President--Richard Nixon.

Indianapolis fans and New Orleans fans should be very, very grateful for this legislation. Otherwise, non-ticketholders in those cities would be scattering to venues like Terre Haute, Fort Wayne, Louisville, Evansville, Hattiesburg, Jackson, and Lafayette in order to view today's games.

No comments:

Post a Comment