Californians Hoping Raiders Game Stays Blacked Out So They Can Watch Colts And Pats

Here’s an odd situation. There are only two markets that will not be able to see the much-anticipated Colts/Pats game on Sunday, Houston and Cleveland—unless the Raiders manage to sell out their game and lift the NFL blackout. If they do, San Francisco will have to watch the Raiders. And they’re not real happy about it.

The Raiders have until 1:15 p.m today to sell the tickets. Will they do it? If they do, many Bay Area pro football fans will be “crying in their beer,” according to the SF Chronicle.

Which would you rather watch? Raiders (2-5) vs Texans (3-5) or the ultimate Brady/Manning showdown?

“We are always interested in showing the Raiders’ game because that’s mainly what people want to see,” said local station spokesperson Akilah Monifa said. “But at this time, it doesn’t look like that will happen. It doesn’t look like it’s going to sell out, although that could change.”

The Chronicle does a really excellent job trying to explain the “Byzentine” NFL blackout rules, so if you’re ready for a headache, head on over. Patriots match ups are drawing a lot of eyes this year, and stations that don’t show the big ones are besieged with angry phone calls.

Although it was not aired by a Bay Area station, the Patriots-Cowboys game was the most watched TV show in the nation that week. Its audience of 29.1 million viewers dwarfed that of the second-most watched show, “CSI,” by 9 million viewers.

It also was the most-watched regular-season Sunday NFL game in a decade, drawing slightly fewer than the 29.7 million who watched the Cowboys-49ers game on Nov. 10, 1996.

The Patriots-Colts telecast should beat those numbers. Even without the Bay Area, it will be available to 94 percent of the country. The only markets that definitely won’t get it are Houston and Cleveland.

“The regular-season average for a Sunday NFL game was 16.3 million last year,” league spokesman Seth Palansky said. “This game is likely to come in around double the average.”


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