A handful of San Diego Chargers fans started getting nervous earlier today when they saw this Michael Gehlken tweet:
Chargers have more than 10,000 general tickets unsold for Monday Night Football game vs. Colts, per team spokesman.— Michael Gehlken (@UTgehlken) October 7, 2013
I'm here to calm you down. Nationally televised games rarely, if ever, get blacked out. Nationally televised games being played in San Diego, which claims Los Angeles as part of its "territory" due to L.A. not having an NFL team of their own, never get blacked out.
Why? Because Los Angeles is the #2 television market in the country. The increased use of DVRs has made sports the only thing people watch live anymore, and Monday Night Football is the second highest rated show on television behind Sunday Night Football. Make no mistake about it, ESPN is charging advertisers a ton of money for air time during a MNF broadcast. Those advertisers expect that the top five television markets in the country will have access to the game.
The local station that broadcasts the game (KUSI will do it on Monday), ESPN, the Chargers, the Colts and all of the advertisers have something substantial to lose if the game ends up being blacked out in southern California. So, the team will do what it can to scare a few more fans into buying tickets (in addition to Gehlken's tweet, expect news in a few days about the Chargers getting a 24-hour extension to avoid the blackout) before someone steps up (or they group together) to buy the remaining tickets and give them to first-responders or military or something else that sees charitable.
After all, they'll make enough money with the game being on in L.A. (and how that affects their ratings) to cover their losses (and then some) from buying the leftover tickets. You can stop worrying about not being able to watch the game now.