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Published on 09/09/2009 at Wed Sep 09 19:30.
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Paul Brown stadium in Cincinnati

Paul Brown stadium in Cincinnati

Broncos fans hoping to throw a season kickoff party in Ohio may have to make other plans.

According to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, as many as six NFL games could be blacked out in local markets this weekend, in accordance with the league’s long-standing home sellout rule.

The Denver Broncos regular season opener at the Cincinnati Bengals is one of them.

The magic number of unsold tickets isn’t encouraging, either. Reedy reports that 5,000 tickets need to be sold within “about 24 hours” (as of 12:27 p.m. Wednesday local time) for the Bengals to avoid their first blackout in five seasons.

A blackout would affect the local Ohio markets, not allowing viewers from home to enjoy their team’s season opener.

Broncos fans in Colorado and most other areas would not be affected. Broncos fans in and around Cincinnati would.

Often times (as is the case, oh, about twice a month for our friends in San Diego), the NFL will extend the ticket deadline by as much as 72 hours, allowing last-minute patrons to help their home team’s games appear on local TV. The networks distributing the games on local television have also been known to bite the bullet and purchase the remaining tickets themselves, an investment made to avoid losing valuable advertising dollars.

This season, pundits expect quite a few more blackouts than years past. Roger Goodell recently said the league is prepared to see as many as twelve teams experience blackouts this NFL season. The Jacksonville Jaguars are particularly under this microscope; some analysts expect Jags fans will be blacked out for all eight regular season home games this year.

The economic climate is most easily to blame; the NFL isn’t budging in its long-standing policy. Many criticize this decision, hoping for some leniency in these tough economic times, but they may fail to realize that this string of sellout success has only really come in the last five to ten years. Blackouts were actually common in many local markets in the nineties and prior, and only in the 2000’s or so did the league really begin to enjoy a high percentage (above 90%) of sellouts.

Of course, not selling out any of your home games certainly doesn’t speak well for the long-term future of a team, in any particular market. Better go win some games, David Garrard.

Interestingly, the Broncos, who are enjoying a streak of 301 consecutive home sellouts that has been running for nearly forty years, aren’t immune to this economic turbulence. Fret not — the team’s home games have all been already designated as sellouts this season (no blackouts for local Broncos fans), but club and luxury suite tickets are still available for the team’s home opener against the Cleveland Browns next week. Sales for premium seating are not included in the league’s revenue sharing, and are not accounted for in determining sellouts/blackouts.

It’ll be a shame if Ohioans won’t be able to see the Broncos thrash the Bengals this Sunday. It’ll be worse for the tens of thousands of them that are Broncos fans.

  • Danh

    I’m glad I don’t live in a major market just for this very reason.

  • anthony33

    Schefter reporting that Bronx and Marshall appear to be making progress on contract discussion. Great news.

    As usual, the post is asleep at the wheel posting something that happened a couple of weeks ago.

  • Kelly in Carolina

    Who is tired of NFL analysts and so-called experts laughing at our team. Tonight on NFL Network they gave the pre-season analysis, and when it came to the AFC West they just laughed. Why can these guys not move on past Cutler’s decision to cry and leave. They try to place all the blame on McDaniels. I guess when we start stacking up wins they’ll finally come around and actually start commenting on the actual team that is here. I once respected Marshal Faulk, but after they asked him about Orton, his answer was, “Does it really matter?” And Fran was like “Well yeah, I think it matters to Broncos fans.” That was a great moment that totally exposed what they think of the Broncos. Faulk accused McDaniels of coming in here and ripping this organization in half….

    I just want Dawkins to lay some one out! I want Champ to intercept a few.

    I will give credit to Maynock who praised our first three draft picks. C’mon Knowshon Moreno, run some people over and don’t frickin get hurt!

    Just watched America’s Game about the 2008 Steelers and was in tears by the end realizing what they actually accomplished. WoW!

    Are you ready for some football!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And to think we get a shot at the champions with our greatly regenerated defense this year.

    As a professional astrologer, I was looking at Josh McDaniel’s chart and he has some high octane planetary transits this year. He’s got Jupiter conjunct his Moon in Aquarius, which basically means that the planet of divine inspiration is activating his innovative soul of a rebel freedom fighter…Astrologically he is poised to do great things. His chart is a lot like George Lucas’ chart, creator of Star Wars, so maybe it’s time for a little rebel alliance in the AFC! He’s a stubborn but practical Taurus with a zany, electric, experimental Aquarius Moon sign. He’ll be here for a long time!

    Anyway, just some thoughts! Go Broncos! And Defense, knock the fricking lights out of them tigers! I want nothing less than to be the number one defense after week one, darn it!

  • bw53

    Kelly in Carolina:

    That’s cool! What about the Cutler/Orton charts for the year? I hope Orton puts J-Cry to shame.

  • Ian Henson

    to be frank, I think that this year especially the blackout rule is horse shit. People are losing their jobs and those that aren’t are taking cuts… Going to an NFL game is and has always been a luxury, if the NFL wants to continue to be every man’s game, then they need to step up and block this artifact of a rule…

    What I don’t get to see the team I worship because I have two kids and it’s $75 per ticket and that’s for the nose bleeds? That’s $225, that or food. I’ll take food.

  • James

    Whoa whoa living in Columbus this does effect me? uh-oh

    Somebody clarify

  • DC

    Going to the old mile high wasn’t a luxury, tickets were cheap and those cheap tickets were the reason mile high had its distinct home field advantage. Real fans attended those games and gave mile high its thunder. Nowadays tickets are ridiculously expensive. True fans are hard to come by, I’m always getting yelled at to sit down. Its Fukd and makes me want to throw up on corporate america giving tickets away to “clients” instead of real fans.

  • broncoNM

    Kelly in CAR-
    Im into the McD chart reading… thanks for the info! A stubborn taurus might be whats needed… If i remember right you did post ortons chart which showed that he is a late bloomer that will flourish… correct? The media certainly doesnt think that the stars are aligning for the broncos but i dont think many guys on NFLN are too big into Astrology… I could be wrong…

  • Tom9798

    DC . . . . good points made . . . and I loved the old Mile High . . . but true fan’s are not hard to come by . . . . the money for the tickets and food . . . etc . . . . alot of fan’s can’t afford the expense . . . T

  • Tom9798

    Ian and DC . . . . It’s all about the buck . . . we pay premium for entertainment in this country . . . blackout’s are like a penalty imposed because some corporation isn’t getting quite enough profit. They could give a crap about the people actually having to buy the tickets . . . .

    This is all Corporate America . . . I could write four page’s of how the American public is getting screwed in their everyday life . . . .

    It all sums down to short-term greed and sorry management from the top down . . . no matter if it’s a D or an R . . . .

    The point is . . . . as far as the NFL is concerned . . . don’t blackout any game . . . tell your sponsers to eat it . . . . put the rookie salary cap in place . . . let’s see if you do anything before we pay you . . .

    As far as the Denver Bronco’s . . . set a precedent . . . . if you want to sell out the new Mile High . . . drop ticket prices by 30% . . . you’ll still make money . . . . four home game’s . . . . every ticket is $40. . . . . want to see true Bronco fan’s? . . . . .

    But ultimately . . . . we will sell out the season anyway , get screwed . . . and the same cycle will continue . . . .

    Geez . . . don’t we love to be entertained? . . . .

  • Fan From Spain

    How can they still do that in these tough economic times?? That kind of thing is unimaginable here in Barcelona, no matter what the ticket sale is the game is all ways on TV, might be PPV but it’s still available (Soccer in this case).


  • Katch22

    It sucks being stationed in Germany due to the time change. I had to get up at 2 in the morning for almost every preseason game. But the blackout rule is stupid and always has been. I’m sure Kerry suports it though!

  • JP

    Ill be going to the game to cheer on our Broncos….only problem is I have a Cutler jersey, and an Elway jersey from when i was about 13 years old …20 years ago…..I think I can squeeze into it…havent figured out what to do with the Cutler rag yet…any ideas?

  • anthony33

    The truth is the NFL is bulit on greed. Lower ticket prices because people are down and out….no way. Just wait until next year when the fight breaks out between the millionares and billionaires over the CBA. Might as well start calling the FTF (F*** the Fan) agreement.

    Still love watching it, but it’s things like this that give you a reason to walk away should if something better comes along.

  • Vince_Marine

    JP….Put a piece of tape over Cutler’s name and write “BRISTER” on it.

  • JP

    That is a fantastic idea!

  • Tim

    Im a colts fan living in toledo ohio…..this sucks i miss alot of games there first game against the jaguars will be a blackout!! any one know how much it cost to buy the games threw buckeye cabe?

  • roshon2411


    We should be alright in Columbus. The blackout rule is any broadcast within/75 miles of a stadium. The columbus network should/usually does broadcast during a Bengals/Browns blackouts.

  • BroncoChris

    If there are that many tickets left I need to make the 4 hour drive north and go to my first Broncos game.

  • areferee

    Get real! The NFL is not some altruistic charity. They don’t give a damn about fans, real or otherwise. They don’t care if there are only corporate lackies at the games, so long as all of the tickets are sold. They only look at the bottom line and they aren’t interested in the blue collar NFL fans that BUILT the frigging league in the first place, unless you can shell out the big ticket prices to finance all of the billionaires who own the league and the millionaires who play in it.

  • gobronx

    JP –

    Burn it baby. Burn, baby, burn…

  • gobronx

    JP –

    I’ve got a friend with an authentic Plummer. The orange, alternate jersey. He put an X through the 1 with duct tape and a “CUT-” in front of “PLUMMER” on the back. Was pretty hilarious. Now he’s changed the 6 to and 8 with duct tape and put “ORTON” over the name plate.

    Funny as it is, my personal opinion is that it’s time to hang it up.

    I had no problem burning my Cutler jersey. There’s no other use for it and being a collector of jerseys, I didn’t want it rubbing up against my other jersies. It’s cursed. Just get rid of it. No better way than a ceremonial burning!

  • Emu

    Little known reasons as to why the NFL set up its blackout policy…