NFL Suspends TV Blackout Rule for 2015-16 Season

The National Football League owners have voted to drop a rule that blocks local TV broadcasts if not enough tickets are sold in local stadiums.

The news was confirmed by NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy:

In addition, the Oct. 25 NFL game from Wembley Stadium, London, between the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars will be streamed worldwide for free on digital platforms starting live at 9:30 a.m. ET.

The so-called “blackout rule” is a federal law that prohibits local TV stations from telecasting NFL games, in the event that the stadium doesn’t sell out tickets 72 hours in advance of the game. The NFL had no blackouts last season and only two TV blackouts in 2013.

From 2009-12, there were 79 blackouts. A big reason for the change after 2012 was that the league redefined what represented a sellout (lowering the required number of tickets sold), according to ESPN Stats & Information.

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