Orchard Park, NY (WKBW) - When the NFL announced that teams could voluntarily change their blackout rule, Bills fans were very excited. But, the Buffalo Bills organization is now deciding to opt out of the NFL's blackout rule, telling Eyewitness News it's a business decision.
The team announced today they will not participate in the new National Football League's policy of lifting television blackouts. Under that policy the game broadcasts could be seen on television as long as 85% of non-premium seats are sold.
Bills CEO Russ Brandon is quoted on BuffaloBills.com. He says, the main reason is because of loss of revenue. Loss of revenue would mean tickets prices would have to go up, something the organization doesn't want.
"We Are a volume-based business, and for us to be successful, we need to keep our ticket prices low and sell a greater number of games." he said.
Brandon explained that if the Bills took part in the new policy, then they would have to pay a higher gate receipts into a league wide revenue pool.
After learning of the Bills decision to not change their blackout rule, Congressman Brian Higgins released a statement saying, "Western New York is home to the most loyal fan base in the NFL and the decision by the Bills to continue the practice of blacking out the television screens of local fans is deeply disappointing."
The FCC is still considering changing the blackout rule but that would only effect the cable and satellite providers. Bills games that didn't sell out would still be blacked out on free over the air television.