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The musings of a Detroit-area sportswriter in the digital age.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Suddenly in demand, Lions sell out early

Lions president Tom Lewand said Wednesday he couldn't remember a time when the Lions sold out a non-Thanksgiving Day game prior to the league's deadline when they announced the team's game against the New York Jets would be broadcast, unlike last week's triumph over Washington.
In fact, half of last season's Lions home games were not shown on local TV, and for the first two games this season, extensions were needed to fill the seats.
The 37-25 win over the Redskins was my first foray into Internet streaming of blacked-out NFL games, and I have to say it went well. The process involves tethering a laptop to a TV via an HDMI cable and streaming a pirated broadcast of the game, because, after all, the rest of the nation gets to watch your home team on the national broadcast, just not the local fans.
SBNation summed it up best, saying the NFL blackout rules were designed for a much simpler time, back in 1973.
"And on top of that, modern fans don't think in terms of selling out a game or not. I've never met one person who has said, "Oh, the Lions are going to be blacked out this Sunday if they don't reach a sellout. I'd better buy tickets to help out!" Nobody thinks like that now, and I doubt anybody thought like that back then."
As simple as it was, like blacked-out cable customers in Michigan and NYC, I much prefer watching TV on ... well, my TV, duh. So, while the fandemonium this week was a bit contrived for a 2-5 team, I'd like to at least be able to get the rest of the Lions' games on TV.


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