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NFL Dumps its Blackout Rule

The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders performing at a game.

LOS ANGELES - The NFL has announced that it will suspend its long-standing blackout policy for the 2015 preseason and regular season. Last season did not have blackouts because the minimum number of tickets were sold for each game. In 2013, the league had two blackouts.

The move eliminates a blackout policy that dates back decades. In the 1970s, about half of all NFL games were blocked from local TV because the games did not sell out. A number of teams like Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville, Oakland, St. Louis and San Diego have had difficulty trying to avoid blackouts.

According to the NFL, the blackout policy requires that home games must be sold out 72 hours in advance in order to be televised locally. The deadline is usually extended to ensure sellouts if a club believes it can sell enought tickets to lift the blackout.

Under league policy, its league's definition of a full house is not selling every seat but a substantial percentage of them, depending on the stadium. The policy does not apply to high-priced suites or club seats.

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