Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ticket Sales Decide Fate of Telecast

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ticket Sales Decide Fate of Telecast

Article excerpt

Byline: ED GEFEN, The Times-Union

Today's question wasn't sent in, but it surely was asked in many houses on Sunday.

Why wasn't the Jaguars' game on TV?

The reason the Jaguars' 7-6 victory against the Denver Broncos was not on local TV -- the official term is "locally blacked out" -- is because not enough tickets were sold by 1 p.m. Thursday.

The National Football League's policy is that any game that is not sold out -- meaning all tickets must be sold -- 72 hours (three full days) before kickoff is not to be shown on TV within 75 miles from the game site. The spirit of the rule is that blacking out a game with no tickets available would be unfair to local viewers.

Areas whose TV markets are within 75 miles of Alltel Stadium include Gainesville, Daytona Beach, Orlando and Savannah, Ga. While some of those cities are more than 75 miles from Jacksonville, some homes in their markets are within 75 miles of here. For example, Daytona Beach is 90 miles from Jacksonville, but some viewers of Orlando and Daytona Beach's CBS channel live more than 15 miles north of that city. So, that CBS channel reaches into the 75-mile zone, and because it does, that means a blacked-out Jacksonville game cannot be shown on that station.

And while the term "sold out" sounds simple -- all tickets are sold -- it's really not in the case of Alltel Stadium. Alltel Stadium has a listed capacity of 76,877 seats for Jaguars games. But thousands of those are called "premium" seats, such as club seats and seats in luxury suites; for blackout purposes, those don't count toward a sellout. The Jaguars say that their number of non-premium seats is around 59,000. All of those seats must be sold in order for the game to be televised here. According to a story in this paper on Sunday, the Jaguars have sold between 43,000 and 44,000 non-premium season tickets, meaning they have to sell 15,000 to 16,000 more tickets to get a "sellout. …

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