NFL suspends TV blackout policy for 2015 season

The NFL has suspended its television blackout policy for the 2015 season

The NFL's local television blackout policy has been suspended for the 2015 preseason and regular season, the league announced Monday.

None of last season's games were blacked out because of the policy, which requires teams to sell a minimum number of tickets in order to ensure local broadcasts. In 2013, two games were blacked out.

The NFL maintains blackouts are needed in order to encourage fans to attend games.

The NFL's blackout policy has been around for decades, but it has come under increasing criticism in recent years. In October, the Federal Communications Commission voted to drop a 40-year-old rule that prohibited cable and satellite TV providers from airing blacked-out games in the home team's market.

The NFL is still allowed to enforce its policy that prevents games from being broadcast locally.

The decision to suspend the blackout rule was approved by the teams at the league's annual meeting in Phoenix.

Staff writer Jim Puzzanghera contributed to this report.

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