The Jacksonville Jaguars home opener will air on local television Sunday despite not selling out.
For most NFL fans, unsold seats means one thing – a local television blackout. But the Jaguars may have exposed a long-standing NFL secret.
Games don’t have to be sold out to be on television. Teams are allowed to buy unsold tickets at 34 cents on the dollar to lift the local TV blackout.
For obvious reasons, teams have kept this NFL rule quiet. They don’t need fans knowing they can ignore the blackout threats and watch the game from home.
They also don’t need fans knowing that some teams – like the Buccaneers, whose home opener is blacked out – simply aren’t willing to spend the money to put their game on local television.
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