Tampa Bay Buccaneers becomes the first NFL team of 2012 to have their home game against the Carolina Panthers blacked out in their home Tampa tv market. Under the NFL’s rules, the game will not be made available for viewing the Tampa area.
What are the NFL black out rules for 2012?
The NFL recently eased rules for local tv markets earlier in 2012. Under the new rules, home NFL teams need to sell a minimum of 85% of game tickets for a home game to prevent a blacked out game. Home NFL teams need to reach the 85% ticket sales threshold 72 hours prior to the kickoff. Under the previous rules, home NFL teams needed sell out 100% of tickets or receive a special exemption from the league in order for home games to be viewed in their local tv markets.
Tampa Bay certainly tried their best to get to the 85% minimum in the week leading up to the 72 hour deadline. The club offered free parking (in Lot of 14 of Raymond James Stadium) and also half priced concessions during the game (with the exception of alcoholic drinks).
HDTV’s and high speed internet threaten NFL ticket sellouts
Considering how popular the NFL is in the United States, it’s sad to see the Tampa Bay game blacked out for lack of ticket sales. While the team is undergoing changes with a new coaching staff and several new players, the local market is slow to support the team with the lack of buying tickets. A great win over a Cam Newton-led Carolina Panthers team will no doubt help energize the local football community with increased ticket sales.
However, the challenges all NFL teams continue to face lie with today’s home entertainment technology. High quality HDTV’s make watching sporting events a very enjoyable experience, plus the price points for purchasing these televisions are constantly falling while ticket prices at home NFL games continue to increase.
Here’s hoping Tampa Bay keeps winning and can start selling out home games.