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NFL Gets Rid of Blackout Rule for 2015

The NFL owners voted to get rid of the blackout rule for the 2015 season - though it likely won't make much difference to the Colts.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The annual NFL meetings are going on this week in Arizona, and we'll be hearing much more in the coming days about potential rule changes to the game itself, plus other changes that could be put into effect.  One of the first ones that we've heard about is one that could be pretty significant, too.

The Wall Street Journal's Kevin Clark had the report first that the 32 NFL owners voted to get rid of the blackout policy for a year.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Breaking: the NFL will scrap it&#39;s TV blackout policy for the 2015 season. Will evaluate how it goes after season. Teams voted on this today.</p>&mdash; Kevin Clark (@KevinClarkWSJ) <a href="">March 23, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

This is a very smart move by the NFL to get rid of it, and likely helped by the fact that there weren't any games blacked out in the 2014 season - as well as the FCC pushing for the league to do away with the rule.  Basically, this was the rule that required a certain amount of tickets to be sold or else the game wouldn't be shown in the home team's market.  The league did the right thing by throwing the rule out, if only just for a year.  They will re-evaluate the decision after this season and after they see how it goes.

Of course, for the Colts, this doesn't really impact them much.  As RTV6's Mike Chappell noted, the last time the Colts were blacked out in Indianapolis was on September 21, 2003 in a game against the Jaguars, as they have sold out 139 of their last 140 games.  In other words, the Colts haven't had a game blacked out in nearly twelve years, and that streak won't end in 2015 either.  It likely wouldn't have anyway, however, with the ever-exciting Andrew Luck at quarterback, a number of new players, and a team that hopes to be contending for a Super Bowl.  But for other teams, this might be more of a relevant rule change - and a smart one.