August 26, 2014

Browns pass on blackout rules changes

Nate Ulrich from the ABJ has the scoop that despite the NFL relaxing its blackout policy, that the Browns will continue on with business as usual.

“It’s a non-issue for us,” said Neal Gulkis, the Browns’ vice president of media relations. “Our fan support has been tremendous, and we fully expect that all of our games will be sold out and televised locally.”

As I’ve pointed out in the past, the Browns haven’t been blacked out despite some instances of corporations buying up seats at the last minute to avoid them. I know the Browns have done pretty well (exceptionally well considering the W/L records) but it also seems a bit strange that they would balk when the league obviously felt there was a reason to make the change. Then again, maybe the change was directed at fan bases that are less dogmatic about their football teams. If a team was faced with growing irrelevancy if not for local TV appearances, it might seem like a good deal to ease blackout restrictions.

Even with all their struggles on the field, the Browns just haven’t had to own up to anything approaching irrelevancy.

[Related: Browns attendance is actually below average]

  • mgbode

    the important part is that the revenue would go down if they took part. if they feel they can sell-out anyway, then why give away money?

    “If a team takes advantage of the new policy, it must give the visiting
    club 50 cents on the dollar for every ticket sold above the lowered
    threshold. Visiting teams normally receive 34 cents on the dollar for
    each ticket sold.”

  • MrCleaveland

    Announcing publicly that you are adopting the new NFL policy would discourage ticket sales. There is no reason to do that.

    If you want to quietly relax the rule yourself later on if need be, then that’s fine. But it’s bad business to tell customers that sell-outs aren’t necessary anymore. There is nothing to gain by doing so, but plenty to lose

  • cmm13

    The arrogance of this message to the fans is absolutely disgusting. They have failed to put a quality product on the field in 10 years and still stand there and say “so what? our fans will never abandon us” Yes I get that you could skew this the other way by saying if they did take part in the new policy they are scared and showing that they are desperate for fans….GOOD. You should be scared and desperate for my money as an organization that has shown no sense of direction in a decade. I get that the revenues would decrease if they took part in the new relaxed blackout policy and that in the end that is the last thing a team wants to happen but… Let’s say we are staring at another 4 or 5 win season in mid-December (which will most likely be the case); wouldn’t the revenue lost from non-ticket sales during January be made up by advertising dollars in the new policy? Maybe I haven’t read the policy top to bottom and am missing something, maybe this is a case of the Monday’s but this message did rub me the wrong way. You may all now vote down my comment for being such a negative nelly. ;)

  • cmm13

    Thank you for providing me the other side of my argument in a rational manner Mr Cleav, I was due for a blow up and this article was the one that did it.