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NFL Changes Blackout Rules

Blackouts reportedly will be less likely next season
Football fans have long complained about the NFL's blackout policy.

There may be less to complain about next season.

The NFL has changed the policy. According to the Wall Street Journal, league owners have approved new rules which would allow games on local TV if only 85 percent of game tickets are sold. Previously, the game had to be a complete sellout.

However, the 85 percent number is only a minimum.

Each team will be allowed to set its own threshold to lift the blackout and franchises will be motivated to set a reasonable number. All tickets sold beyond the blackout threshold will be subject to additional revenue. In other words, a team that chooses 85 percent for its blackout threshold will keep less money from the remaining 15 percent of tickets they may sell.

The Bills sold 84.8 percent of tickets in 2011 and had the last three games of the season blacked out. Only one of those games--against Tennessee December 18th--came close to selling 85 percent of tickets.

Officially, the Bills said in a statement Saturday night, "We are continuing to review the policy and will comment at the appropriate time."
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