Blackout lifted after sponsors buy remaining Packers tickets

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A group of corporate partners bought the remaining tickets for the Green Bay Packers’ January 5, 2014 playoff game, helping that community avoid a television blackout of the game.

Our sister station WITI in Milwauke reports they joined forces with several Green Bay-area businesses to buy up the remaining available tickets Friday, January 3, 2014.

The FCC’s customary deadline for NFL teams to sell out stadium seats is 72-hours before game time.  If the tickets don’t sell out by the set deadline, the game is “blacked out” to local viewers in the television market where the game is to be played.

The goal of the rule is to prevent football fans from staying home to watch their local team play while seats in the stadium remain empty.   The rule was rooted in the 1950s and 1960s when ticket sales were a much higher portion of team revenue.

Facing a possible television blackout of a first-round playoff game in Cincinnati, an Ohio senator blasted the FCC over the rule that he called “unacceptable.”

The FCC has voted to eliminate the rule, but the NFL opposes any change.

The Bengals had until 4 p.m. Eastern time Friday, January 3 to sell out their Sunday home game against the Chargers. Fox reported that the blackout was lifted before the deadline.

ABC News confirmed the Indianapolis Colts already sold their remaining 1,200 tickets to their playoff game Saturday, January 4 against the Kansas City Chiefs.  Corporate sponsor Meijer reportedly bought the tickets.   Saturday’s game featuring the New Orleans Saints at the Philadelphia Eagles was sold out by Thursday, January 2.

The Packers face the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field Sunday, January 5 at 3:30 p.m.