Ohio senator Sherrod Brown called on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to revisit the league's policy on TV blackouts on Thursday.
Brown called the specter of blackouts this season "deeply troubling" and said the NFL should consider relaxing its TV rules as the country continues to battle through a recession.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday announced the league's first TV blackout for their home opener against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. NFL rules require games that fail to sell out within 72 hours of kickoff be blacked out within 75 miles of the home market.
Goodell defended the blackout policy this week as good for the league as USA TODAY reported that as many as 11 teams -- including the Cincinnati Bengals -- could face them this season.
"During these difficult times, working families are struggling to make ends meet," Brown said. "Although appealing, attending a football game is simply cost prohibitive for too many Ohioans. The average price for an NFL game ticket is $77 – nearly ten times the hourly minimum wage. The problem will only become worse, as 18 teams have increased ticket prices for the upcoming 2010 season."
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Comment: In an era of increased specialization, it's always good to know that we have generalist politicians that know more about a given business than the businessmen that run said business. Just look at what a great job Congress has done say with the economy, financial markets, the global wars, and the energy issues. The NFL should be a snap for Brown.
But I'm surprised that Brown didn't appeal to Goodell for the sake of children. This time it's about the "working families" though. You know those rich folks who earn more than $100K a year don't work all. All that money they have comes from the money tree they keep in their back yard hidden from the IRS.
Since the "working families" can't afford those expensive NFL cable packages, it just isn't fair you know, maybe Brown should add a small inclusion to a future expansion of the nationalized health care system making it illegal for NFL to blackout games. That would be the fair thing to do and it would help the mental health of all those Ohio families who can't afford to go to an NFL game.
… Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses