Bills choose to stay the course on optional blackout policy


The NFL gave their 32 teams the option of declaring sellouts if 85 percent of non-premium tickets for a home game were sold 72 hours prior to game time to lift local television blackouts. After an exhaustive analysis the Buffalo Bills have chosen not to participate in the new TV blackout policy.

"We are a volume-based franchise," said Bills CEO Russ Brandon. "For us to be successful we have to keep our ticket prices low and sell a great number of tickets. At 73,000 strong, our fans create one of the best Home Field Advantages in the entire National Football League."

NFL clubs that do choose to participate in the new 85 percent blackout rule must surrender 50 percent of money from every ticket sold over the 85 percent threshold to the NFL's "visiting team pool" instead of the typical 34 percent. That would mean substantial revenue losses for games that sellout.

The Bills also determined that adopting the policy would have very little impact on what games would actually be televised as opposed to being blacked out. Over the past two years there have been six Bills regular season home games blacked out to local television audiences. Had the new 85 percent TV blackout policy been in place since 2010 only one of those six TV blackouts would've been lifted, last year's Dec. 18th home game against Miami.

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