Whether it’s the recession driving ticket buyers away from stadiums or the optimum TV viewing offered by HD sets and Red Zone features, the NFL anticipates that this upcoming football season may see as many as 11 teams facing blacked-out games in home markets, reports USA Today.
The NFL requires that any game that is not sold out 72 hours in advance of the kickoff must be blacked out from the local broadcast. Last season, 22 games were affected in Jacksonville, Detroit, Oakland and St. Louis.
This season, in addition to those cities, Arizona, Cincinnati and San Diego anticipate having trouble selling out every home game. Another team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, avoided this problem by having ownership purchase the unsold tickets so the games would be broadcast, but this year the team management said it would not do that anymore.