Because there are still 5,943 tickets remaining, Sunday's game between the Jaguars and Cleveland Browns will not be televised in the Jacksonville area, according to NFL guidelines. The game would have had to be sold out at 4:15 p.m. today to avoid the blackout. The game will be televised regionally by CBS and was to have been broadcast locally by WJXT Channel 4.
"We're disappointed this game will not be on television locally, but we appreciate the fans who will attend the game in person on Sunday," said Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver. "Our fans - the 12th man - have always played an important role in the success of the team on the field, and I know our players thank them as well."
Secondary markets are included in the blackout area, therefore television stations in Gainesville, Daytona Beach, Orlando and Savannah, Ga. will not be allowed to air the game. The blackout radius is signal penetration within 75 miles of the home city.
In addition, individuals as well as sports bars and other business establishments who are located within the blackout area are not allowed to show the game via satellite or any other means. The signals for network games are scrambled anyway, but any establishment showing a blacked out game in the blackout area will be in violation of the Unites States Copyright and Communications Act and will be liable for significant damages.
Prior to 1973, no home game of an NFL team was televised locally, whether it was sold out or not. Instead, other games were brought into the market. In 1973, the U.S. Congress enacted Public Law 93-107, saying in effect, "If a game is sold out 72 hours in advance, the NFL must make it available to local television … it is the network's option whether or not the game is shown locally." The law expired in 1975, but with talk of implementing a permanent and perhaps more restrictive law, then-commissioner Pete Rozelle said that the NFL would continue to honor its provisions voluntarily. The anti-blackout law was permitted to lapse in favor of self-regulation.
Television stations are not allowed to show any highlights of a game while that game is in progress, even in normal news programming. Once the game ends, the usual six-minute limit of "same day" footage applies.
For fans wishing to see the game, tickets can still be purchased online at jaguars.com, by calling 1-866-4-JAGS-TIX (credit card only) or at the Jaguars Ticket Office at ALLTEL Stadium. Ticket prices are $40, $50, $65 and $95 per ticket, depending upon location and availability. On Sunday, tickets will go on sale at 1:00 p.m. at the nine-window ticket office by Coggin Gate 2.