In a change that is aimed at catching up with the times, the NFL has decided to ease up on their outdated rules about sellouts and TV blackouts in local markets.
The new policy will require NFL teams set a sales goal to sell at least 85% of tickets to each game. If a team meets there goal, the game will not be blacked out. In order to encourage teams to set goals higher than 85%, the NFL will institute a higher revenue sharing percentage for any sales over the teams' stated goals.
So, instead of the San Diego Chargers needing to sell every seat in Qualcomm Stadium for the game to be broadcast on local television, they now only need to sell 85% of those seats. Teams that sell more than 85% of their seats get a larger chunk of the revenue-sharing money, which only makes sense.
Along with this news was also word that NFL stadiums will now play replays on their scoreboard during play reviews (so, during a coaches challenge or after a score). Also, each NFL stadium is aiming to have WiFi by 2013, and will offer an interactive experience for game attendees that bring their smartphone with them. All of this is to fight the notion that watching the game at home, on TV, has become more enjoyable than watching the game in-person.
Considering the Bolts always seem to get to 85% capacity, struggling only with that last 5-10%, this should hopefully result in an end to TV blackouts for Chargers' home games.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This new policy is optional and the Chargers will be opting out. Stop celebrating and buy tickets.