Prior to the start of this year’s season, the NFL is going after the FCC, attempting to convince the agency not to eliminate a rule that would end attendance-based blackouts. The lobbying effort comes on the heels of a shady attempt to scare fans into believing that the elimination of blackout rules would make fans pay to watch games that are currently available on broadcast television.
The NFL’s logic is still flawed and nonsensical. Hall of Famer Lynn Swann has been serving as a mouthpiece for the league, ridiculously claiming that the blackout rule, “helps grow the game and helps maintain it,” which is a line of thinking I’m going to need explained to me. Here’s another money quote from Swann that has my eyes rolling.
“We need to make sure to protect the game so the widest number of people possible can view it and keep it on free TV for those people who don’t buy cable packages.”
The hilarious part about that is that the NFL is actually moving games *from* cable to broadcast television, simulcasting eight Thursday Night Football games on CBS and NFL Network this season.
The NFL doesn’t care about “protecting” viewers from games going to pay TV. They just signed new contracts with CBS, NBC, Fox, ensuring that nearly every NFL game will be available on broadcast television until 2020. This is all about the NFL trying to squeeze even more money out of consumers by continuing to hold the blackout sword over their heads. After just two blackouts last year, the rule seems archaic and without the best interests of fans at heart. It’s shameful for the NFL to continue to beat the same tired points home, trying to take their fans to the cleaners under the guise of attempting to save them money.