Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Preseason Blackouts Possible Jags' Home Games Affected by New Rule

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Preseason Blackouts Possible Jags' Home Games Affected by New Rule

Article excerpt

Byline: Vito Stellino, Times-Union sports writer

Jaguars fans will be able to see their two home preseason games on television on tape delay next month, even if the games aren't sold out.

But the fans won't be able to see the games live if they're not sold out because of a change in the NFL's policy on preseason games. Previously, the Jaguars could lift the blackout for home preseason games, even if they weren't sold out, as long as the visiting team agreed.

That's why they were able to televise their two home preseason games against Carolina and Kansas City live last year, even though neither game was sold out.

Under the new policy, a home team that wants to lift a preseason game blackout will have to pay the visiting team's share for unsold tickets into a league pool to be shared by all the teams.

The owners voted in January 2001 to start pooling visiting teams' gate receipts for preseason games this fall. The idea was to stop teams from complaining if they were scheduled to play a team that didn't draw well for preseason games.

The visiting team's share is 40 percent of the gate receipts after the home team gets 15 percent for game expenses. That means a net of about 34 percent of the revenues for the visiting teams.

This new policy means the Jaguars will no longer lift the blackout for home preseason games that aren't sold out.

"We would definitely tape delay," Dan Connell, the Jaguars' senior vice president of marketing, said yesterday. "They'd start about 11:30 p.m."

The Jaguars' two home preseason games are against Tampa Bay on Friday, Aug. 16 at 7 p.m. and against Dallas on Thursday, Aug. 29 at 7:30 p.m.

Connell said the possibility of showing the games on tape delay is already covered in the contract with WJXT TV-4, but he declined to discuss the specifics of the difference in the contract for payments for a tape delay broadcast as opposed to a live telecast.

There's usually a drop in the fees for games shown on tape delay because they usually don't draw the same ratings as games that are shown live.

The Jaguars' two road preseason games, at Atlanta on Aug. …

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