ESPN, NBC & NFL Network Have The Most To Lose From Potential NFL TV Blackouts

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Robert had an earlier post on the potential for more NFL TV blackouts this season, but a piece in Mediaweek today makes an important point about the risks for the different TV rights holders.

CBS and Fox have some leeway, however, because on any given Sunday, the networks televise multiple regional games and can substitute in an out-of-market game if the scheduled local team’s game does not sell out. ESPN, NBC and NFL Network, which each televise only one national game per week, may find themselves in more of a bind.

In fact, in some markets (hello, Oakland!), substituting a good out of market matchup for a local blacked out game could produce higher ratings, but only CBS and Fox have the opportunity to do that.

Although weighing against that is the fact that those 3 networks have somewhat “hand picked” games that are much less likely to face blackout.

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