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SBD/July 16, 2012/Franchises
Bucs To "Take Full Advantage" Of New Blackout Policy; Colts, Jags Opt Out
Published July 16, 2012
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THANK YOU, NO: In Florida, Tania Gangulihe Jaguars noted the Jaguars can be added "to the list of teams to decline the NFL's new relaxed blackout policies." Jaguars President Mark Lamping said, "We have not finalized our blackout number yet, but it will be the same as last year, or very close, to accommodate some seating initiatives we are considering unrelated to the blackout issue." The Jaguars "have not had a blackout since the 2009 season in which nine of 10 home games" were blacked out on local TV (JACKSONVILLE.com, 7/13).
SENSITIVE SUBJECT: The Colts also will opt out of the new blackout policy, and an INDIANAPOLIS STAR editorial stated, "By making a non-issue an issue this week, the Indianapolis Colts managed to offend fans, upset restaurant and sports bar owners, and pick away at old scabs about the overly generous deal that built and maintains the team's Lucas Oil Stadium home." It is "clear the Colts had good business reasons to operate under the old blackout rules." It is "clear, too, that the challenges of operating in a smaller market aren't fully appreciated by many fans or team critics." If the Colts had "issued a press release saying the team greatly appreciated fan support, noting that sellouts were fully expected and explaining the issues fully, far fewer people would have been upset" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 7/13).