FCC Commissioner Roger Goodell reiterated Sunday night that the league has no plans to lift the TV blackout of home games not sold out 72 hours before game time, but thanks to a
handful of extensions that was not an issue the first week of the season.
Earlier in the week he had said that the blackout policy was still good for the game, the teams and the fans, but said the league would work with the teams, which has included changing their comp ticket policy.
There were no blackouts this past weekend, the first weekend of the new season, according to the NFL. The league does have a policy of giving more time to teams showing "significant progress" toward selling out. "There were 24-hour extensions granted in three cases, Cincinnati, Arizona and Oakland," according to an NFL spokesman, which all sold out within that 24-hour extension.
via Broadcasting & Cable.
I can see where this is headed, the NFL will very publicly stick with its long standing blackout rules, but will ease up on the restrictions and grant exceptions (of course, all will be declared to be on a case by case basis) so that few, if any, blackouts will actually happen. This helps them to preserve the rule for the future, without seemingly like they're being Scrooges during the current economic situation.