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Chargers/Cowboys won't be blacked out

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Trust me. The San Diego Chargers week 1 preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys will not be blacked out on local television.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

I know. NFL football is back and you, the San Diego Chargers fans, want to go back to worrying about local television blackouts for some reason.

A large portion of the Chargers fanbase loves to talk about, and think about, potential television blackouts. How many tickets have been sold? Is that enough? Who might buy out the remaining tickets? What are the rules? Will there be a blackout?

Calm yourself down. The regular season hasn't even started yet. When it comes to TV blackouts, you need to look at the big picture to try and figure out who will benefit and who will lose if there is a local TV blackout.

Does ESPN want Monday Night Football blacked out in the local market? No, that'd be embarrassing (and a sign that their games aren't as good as NBC's Sunday Night Football, which has flex scheduling). So, ESPN makes sure that MNF games in San Diego aren't blacked out.

Now, think about preseason games. What are preseason games? Well, they're a scam. A boon for NFL teams and owners. They're also 3+ hour infomercials.

Unlike regular season games, the preseason game is run by the local media (and mostly dictated by the team). So, they pick announcers that will say nice things about the team (Hi, former Charger Billy Ray Smith!), schedule fluffy sideline interviews with the team's star players, and generally try to build excitement for the upcoming year to try and generate interest and sell tickets.

The Chargers are not the New England Patriots or the Dallas Cowboys. They are still working towards the fanbase they want. They're not there yet, but 18,000+ people showing up to watch them practice in the rain on Saturday was a good sign that they're building something. Blacking out preseason games might not kill that momentum, but it would slow it down.


So, no, the team won't let the Chargers game against the Cowboys on Thursday be blacked out. They'll take whatever unsold (greatly overpriced) tickets are left, and work with local companies (i.e. tickets for pennies on the dollar) to give them to first responders, military, and anyone else that might help the team's image during the month when they sell the most season tickets.

Relax and enjoy the game from your couch.