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TV times are tough all over: NASCAR isn't alone
In fact, the National Football League's blackout rule is becoming big news. If an NFL game isn't sold out a couple days in advance, it can't be shown on local TV.

Such a TV blackout rule has been suggested by promoter Bruton Smith for NASCAR, partly in order to pressure TV networks and area government officials to fill up the stands to avoid a blackout.

Last year the NFL's Jacksonville franchise had seven of it's eight home games blacked out; so this season the team has worked extra hard to avoid that.

But the cross-state Tampa Bay franchise just announced it will have to blackout home games the rest of the season, because of weak ticket sales.

And out in California, the NFL Oakland franchise has had most of its home games blacked out the past two years, because of weak crowds.

Over in the baseball world, meanwhile, Fox is playing hardball with cable systems over the playoffs, and many of the country's biggest markets could be effectively blacked out. MikeMulhearn.net

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