Dale Earnhardt Jr Triggers Important Conversation Around NFL’s Ugly “Blackout” Rule

Published 08/14/2022, 10:30 AM EDT
DARLINGTON, SC – AUGUST 31: Dale Earnhardt, Jr., JR Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Hellmann’s (8) during the running of the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 on August 31, 2019, at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, SC.(Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

There has a strange broadcasting rule in the NFL that does not allow the broadcasting of games if 85 percent of the available seats are not sold 72 hours before the day of the game.

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This weird ruling is not a new thing, though. It’s been in practice all the way since the 1970s. It is a method used by the NFL in order to force sell-out stadiums.

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NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr recently took to Twitter to slam this odd policy of NLF. He posted a picture of showing how he could not watch the game due to a local blackout restriction on his Twitter feed, stating, NFL Preseason time!

His fans were quick to take over and criticize this rule enacted by the league.

Although the entire thing might sound unethical and unjust, for the management, it’s all business and they would like things to stay the same to keep the profits rolling in.

NASCAR was once advised to follow the blackout rule like the NFL

Back in 2009, Bruton Smith, the founder of Speedway Motorsports, Inc, went out and suggested that NASCAR should also carry out its own blackouts when races are not sold out.

NASCAR was quick to shut the weird proposal down the hatch.

Aug 7, 2022; Brooklyn, Michigan, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace (23) and driver Christopher Bell (20) lead the pack at the beginning of the race at Michigan International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Brooks, the then-senior VP of NASCAR stated that it would only bring up more problems than solutions.

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He stated, “Event attendance is a priority for NASCAR and our television partners.”

“However, there are many significant issues, unique to NASCAR, that arise around the concept of local TV blackouts.”

“TV partners, advertisers, ratings, teams, and event sponsors would all be negatively impacted. However, the most significant issue is the negative effect this move would have on our fans.”

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Do you think the people running the NFL should stop this practice that keeps the fans from watching the game?

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Srijan Mandal

370 articles

Srijan Mandal is a NASCAR author at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his Master’s in Journalism and has been writing for his own blog, 'Noobs Onboard', for a while now, covering NASCAR, F1, W Series, MotoGP, WRC and the WEC. Following motorsports for more than a decade now, he has become a devout supporter of McLaren Racing, Sir Lewis Hamilton, and Ayrton Senna.

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