The Raiders announced Sunday’s game against Houston had not sold out 72 hours in advance and would be blacked out on local television.
It’s the ninth straight home blackout for the Raiders, with the last home game on television being last year’s Monday night season opener against the San Diego Chargers.
The Raiders have 78 blackouts in 122 home games since moving back to Oakland in 1995.
Asked about blackouts in a Sirius Radio appearance today, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the following about the blackout issue:
“When you look at the blackouts, we used to have 35-40 percent of our games blacked out in the 70s, 80s and even into the early 90s. Those numbers were extraordinarily high. We actually have a very small number of blackouts within the last couple of years but we also recognize it’s a challenging time for our fans.
“To be able to take your family to an NFL game it’s a big commitment for people and we have to be sensitive to that as clubs and as a league. And I think we are. And I think that’s a continuing challenge for us. We also look at it as how do we make the event itself, so when you do go to our stadiums, a great event. We want it to be a positive experience, a memorable experience and something that people will want to come back and do more. But we can’t be naïve to what’s going on out there to our fans and the kind of environment we’re operating in right now.”
Goodell seems to have softened at least a little from hardline stance on blackouts, but he’s a long way from suggesting the league eliminate them.