The Oakland Raiders got a one-day television blackout extension Friday, and have until 5 p.m. Saturday to sell out the Oakland Coliseum and allow the game to be broadcast locally on ESPN Monday Night Football.
The NFL allowed the Raiders a 24-hour extension on the TV blackout deadline because of the shortened Labor Day holiday week, the Raiders' office confirmed. NFL games are blacked out locally if the home team's stadium is not sold out 72 hours prior to the game's kickoff.
But if the game is blacked out locally, and not available via any televison set or sports bar within 75 miles of the Oakland Coliseum, then it will be broadcast online afterwards at NFL.com. But not until midnight after the game.
It's a new rule this year, allowing blacked out NFL home games to be broadcast online at NFL.com, and available for 72 hours after the midnight following the game. The current recession has led to the largest number of not-sold out home games on the NFL schedule since the television blackout rules were instituted in 1973.
"We understand that the economy is limiting some families and corporations from buying as many game tickets as they had previously,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “These free rebroadcasts on NFL.com will allow our fans that can’t get to a blacked-out game an opportunity to see the entire game."
This online broadcast won't quite be the same as watching on a high-definition TV in one of your finer living room television sets in the Bay Area. Take a look at some of the videos up at NFL.com now, and expect what you see there for the game broadcast on your computer. The quality of your viewing experience is determined by your bandwidth, or the transmission speed of your internet connection.
It's one of those things where it would probably play better on the computers at work. Will they let you tailgate there from midnight until 3:30 a.m. Tuesday morning?
It would be frustrating to try and deny yourself checking the Raiders-Chargers score while the game is in progress, and then to watch it online afterward without knowing the outcome. Would you need a three-plus hour distraction between the conclusion of the Buffalo-New England Monday Night early game and the Raiders game coming up online at midnight?
I'd recommend watching a rerun of Sunday's Jaguars-Colts game, which will have been played at not-sold out Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, and available to watch online at NFL.com.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who has every intention of sitting through three entire consecutive NFL games on both Sunday and Monday night.