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NFL eases up on blackout restrictions

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By PFW staff

NFL owners voted in May to ease up on local TV blackout restrictions, the Wall Street Journal first reported over the weekend.

League spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed to NFL.com that home teams now have the option of selling 85 percent of game tickets to avoid a blackout in their local TV market. The previous rule stated that teams had to sell out games or receive a league exception to get the game on local television.

"It's optional if clubs want to do this and would only affect a few teams," McCarthy told NFL.com. "Last year only 6 percent of games were blacked out in a local market. This figure is down significantly from 15 to 20 years ago when 25 to 30 percent of games were routinely blacked out."

Teams can now establish a minimum of tickets sold, as long as it is 85 percent or higher. Per the Wall Street Journal, teams will be forced to share more of the revenue when they exceed that benchmark.

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