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Preseason finale blacked out, more blackouts on way?

The Dolphins preseason finale against Dallas at Sun Life Stadium will not be televised live because the game will not be sold out in time to lift the local TV blackout. The game will be televised on a taped delay basis.

The Dolphins will make the announcement later this afternoon so that fans wishing to watch the game live have time to get their tickets and make plans to attend. The game will be broadcast by WFOR (Channel 4 in South Florida) starting at 11:30 p.m. on Thursday on tape and then be rebroadcast on Friday on Channel 33 at 8 p.m. Friday.

That's not good news, but the more sobering news may be on the horizon.

The Dolphins also plan to make it clear to their fans that tickets sales for regular-season games are not going as well as the team would like and that could mean blackouts of several meaningful regular-season games are about to happen.

Several home games on the regular-season schedule -- starting with the Week 2 game against Houston -- are so far from being sold out that the club is warning fans the only way to see them might be to buy tickets.

Games against Buffalo, Denver, and perhaps even Dallas and Washington may not be sold out in time to lift the local TV blackout unless local fans purchase tickets at a rate not yet seen in 2011.

That means Miami's regular season streak of 102 consecutive blackout-lifting home sellouts, dating back to October 1998, is in jeopardy barring a run on tickets. The Dolphins' streak is currently at 101 consecutive home sellout but the club expects to sell out the Sept. 12 regular-season opener against New England, which would mark the 101st game of the streak.

The Dolphins overall streak of consecutive sellouts, counting playoffs, dates back to January 2002 when a playoff game against Baltimore failed to sell out in time to lift the blackout.

So what does this mean?

Some thoughts:

  • Several NFL teams, including Jacksonville, Oakland, San Diego and Tampa Bay are having similar problems selling tickets. That speaks to these being tough economic times and folks being careful with their disposable income.
  • The Dolphins are in a tough situation because the people of South Florida have options if they want to go to a sporting event. The Hurricanes, Panthers, and Heat all play here. Oh yeah, the Marlins are here also, although most locals avoid attending their games.
  • This being South Florida, there are other activities for people to enjoy in the winter.
  • The Dolphins are hurt by the fact they were 1-7 at home last season. Those losses stung. Folks didn't enjoy going home from games unhappy and are obviously guarding themselves from a similar experience this year.
  • Some fans are waiting to see how the club does against the Patriots in the season opener before making a ticket buying commitment. Win the opener and the club will give people a reason for coming back. Lose, and it could be hard to convince folks to purchase seats for the following week's game against Houston -- a team the Dolphins have never beaten.
  • The Dolphins don't have a recent history for playing entertaining football. Folks down here want victories and even if those don't come in droves, they definitely want points. The Dolphins have been point-challenged the last couple of seasons.
  • The NFL lockout obviously hurt the club's marketing.
  • The lack of big-name offseason additions hurt the club's marketing.

This news will be jarring to some South Floridians. Folks have gotten spoiled with the idea of having the Dolphins on TV every Sunday during the season. Even during the 1-15 year, all the games were sold out in time to televise them.

But those days are gone. The club is going to make that clear. No owner can absorb the cost of buying his own tickets, particularly when the number of unsold tickets hover around 13,000 as it currently does for the Houston game.

Local television stations also don't have that kind of money. Last year, for example, the total number of tickets purchased to secure sellouts was no more than 2,000 for the entire season.

So the message that is about to come from the Dolphins should be clear to local Dolphins fans: Ticket sales are lagging. And unless they improve dramatically, the Dolphins will not be on local TV every Sunday.

If fans want to make sure they see their team play, they will have to buy tickets.


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Lower the prices!

How bout this LOWER THE FREAKING PRICE. If I have a business that offers a service everyone else is better than me and charges the same or less. So what do I have to do? Become better at what I do and charge les till I earn the right to charge more. The dolphins are 1-7 at home. They have a product that is subpar to everyone else so get better and until u actually win something lower the freaking price. I have no plans of going this year and I went to six last year. I'm not driving from Orlando getting a hotel room at 100 watching the game at about 100-200 parking 25 then driving back home gas 70-100. It is not a profitable business decision.

how about you lower the price for the upper deck seat. I could pay may cable/internet bill for a month for what it costs to buy 2 tickets.

And honoring the Gators on the hurricanes home fields makes me sick and i am not even a UM fan.

pay a high premium to sit in 95 degree hot weather to watch a poor product. good luck. ill watch other teams on fox or cbs or sunday ticket.

pay a high premium to sit in 95 degree hot weather to watch a poor product. good luck. ill watch other teams on fox or cbs or sunday ticket.

Posted by: jose | August 29, 2011 at 04:42 PM

Great idea, but don't stop there. Go on over to their blog and make yourself at home.

SEE YA!!!!

cant help you, i live in dallas

Um... the Dallas game is in DALLAS

oh well start winning and mayb some1 will want 2 come see u,u promised us a better team and so far that dont look true

going 2 games is supose 2 b fun,watching u loose aint fun

Classic Armando.

One really good article followed by two bad ones.

Whose in charge of the FO at the Herald and how long are they going to give him too develop.

Nut Up Armando!!!!

Armando you are wrong! the last blackout was in the 2000-2001 Season against the Colts, the game againts the Ravens was in the following year and it wasnt blacked out.

So Lets Have a GATOR DAY !!!! idiots !!

2 B or not 2 B, that is the Q?

FWIW I'm SMH B cuz U type like BFF's text.

Put down the twinkies, turn off the game console and get some excercise.

Living in the 21st century, ain't it a gas!

Sorry to hear that for my Florida friends (bobbyd12 and the rest of you).

But, the organization did it to themselves. I can't blame Floridians if they don't want to go to ANOTHER game where the Dolphins CAN'T score, DON'T win, DON'T even play a style of ball that's exciting and entertaining.

All that running crap finally took it's toll. All that defense first, strong defense with no dang offense FINALLY has people fed up.

Hopefully the Owner is paying attention, and will step into the GM's office (since Parcells is now gone), step into Sparano's office, and says, "get your dang oline fixed and LET HENNE AIR THE BALL OUT!" Win or lose the fans will come back, since THAT'S exciting football.

Thank god I have DirectTV.

I might not pony up the $250-$300 for the Sunday ticket and watch at a bar. Just because people in South Florida don't pay money for a lackluster product doesn't mean they are any less of a fan. They will still find a way to watch the game...I would.

We are desperate for QUALITY (decent) offensive linemen.

What is considered local?

I'm saving money to go from Mexico D.F. to Miami to see my beloved dolphins play, but it seems not to be in this year, sorry

Armando, the Dallas game is in Dallas (Thanksgiving day game), and since Dallas is most definitely not in the same TV market as Miami, a sellout there or not won't affect a blackout in Miami.

Joe, a blackout means the game's not shown on live TV at all for the team's TV market. That includes at bars and on Sunday Ticket. The only thing they can do to "find a way" is either leave town or find illegal streams.

"The Dolphins overall streak of consecutive sellouts, counting playoffs, dates back to January 2002 when a playoff game against Baltimore failed to sell out in time to lift the blackout.

Pretty impressive considering how horrible we were the last decade

In addition to poor team and expensive seats, a lot of south Florida fans are over 50 and can't sit in the hot son. Have tickets 40 yrs and can't sit in sun anymore due to lupus. Many medicines also taken mean you can't tolerate heat. A domed stadium I bet would bring another 20 k to stadium. Its not like sitting in cold weather where u can bundle up. Heat cam actually kill and for me it puts me in a relapse for 4-8 weeks. Too many older fans I know are in the same
Boat. Heart medicine alone is a large percentage, cancer patients, lupus, ms and other diseases prohibit attendance no matter how much we love the fins.

DC Dolfan, I'm a season ticket holder so I won't miss any of the games.

The Dallas preseason gamee days is in Miami. The regular season game on Thanksgiving is in Dallas.

I'm not going to either one. I guess I'm not alone.

Makes me glad I don't live locally and watch the games on DirecTV...

I like watching the game much more at home though, well maybe that's because I've only been to Jets stadium :(

Still like the comfort of my own home though. Fans shouldn't be forced to go to games like that, I'm paying TOP dollar to watch these games at home, I shouldn't be subjected to having to come out to the stadium just to watch the team.

I guess if you're not paying anything and just getting the game on free on the local channel, it's a little different. But still, the blackout rules are stupid in general.

I'm sure the product on the field is a big factor here and the fact the team went 1-7 at home last year and also the lockout. But it's also a sign of the times. My friends and I go to a LOT less live sporting events and instead prefer to watch on HD in the comfort of our homes. It's just a sign of the times. The econonmy is down everywhere and when you factor in the price of the tickets, parking, food and drink, it can really add up. The alternative is to stay home and stay right up to date with ALL the games and not have to fight traffic too and from games. I think professional sports has a big problem going forward.

Armando, you are a long time South Florida boy. You know how things work down here. You get us.

Why can't you impart some of that knowledge on the morons who run the Dolphins?

Maybe if they had gotten a new quarterback, like everyone expected, instead of trying to pull one over on us with the same old cruddy guy who failed the past two seasons, more people would believe they could actually score TDs instead of FGs. Then they'd buy tickets.

I would.

Just beat the Pats on the Monday night opener and then sit back and watch the ticket sales take off.....winning is the best and only formula to sell tickets.

Oh yea...here's my 2 cents on the O-Line debacle:

Hey Armando...did you even think to ask if Pouncey might actually want to move over to the RG position? If he's such a "natural" at RG then freakin move him over to RG.
Put Gurode at Center, where he went to 5 Pro Bowls and move Carey out to RT...cut that fat ass Jerry off the team along with Columbo and put Murtha on the bench.
There, that was so god damned easy even a CAVE MAN CAN DO IT!
Come on Tony...get your head out your ASS.


M U S I C !!

M U S I C !!

Remember....according to Mike Dee,
The Miami Dolphins are a
Sports & ENTERTAINMENT Company!

So why
care...if you distract the Football players as long as you put on a
GRAND SHOW with C-List Celebrities !!!!

Is there any OTHER Football team (During the past 30 years) that has been 1-7 in THEIR STADIUM while winning most of their games every place else ?????

There HAS to be a reason for this.

......and that reason is
Our beloved OWNER choses
to compromise his own team's chances
to win by throwing DISTRACTIONS
in front of them during home games.


They can't prepare,
They can't concentrate,
They can't win home games because
its IMPOSSIBLE to block out the THREE RING CIRCUS going on around them during the weeks of home games.

This grand experiment to lure 'American Idle' Worshipers to
Football games MUST END.

The GM is an arrogant p rick who doesn't talk to the media to explain himself.

The coach cannot speak in complete sentences and when he does, he lies about how good even his most terrible players are.

And the owner is never around.

Why should I buy a ticket again?

And why do you suppose people are not buyig tickets? This organization is so pathetic! How many playmakers do we have? Now finally Henne is playing well but the O-line sucks. With so many talented players that became available. ESPN analyst predicts Miami to win only 6 games. I can see it happen. Maybe then after this season we can get rid of Ireland, Sporanus and Ross will sell.

Hey Bernie...I agree 100%
Went to the Jets/Dolphins season finale two years ago when we won the AFC East by beating Brett Favre...but I must confess, the stadium environment was no nonsense, true grit FOOTBALL. No fluff.
Just like the Steelers, Eagles & Browns.
Old school football cities that don't need "American Idol" fans.

The Dolphins host Philadelphia and Washington this year. They go to Dallas and the NY Giants.

Sorry< live in KC, Miami's local fans blow, everybody knows the most loyal fans are out of state. So its direct tv for me.

Come to Naples and watch the game at your favorite bar...cheaper than buying a ticket
plus $9.oo for a beer!

It's sad. I realize the economy isn't good and the team record last year at home hurt. But, we have close to 7 Million people in the Tri-County Area and can't fill up an 80,000 seat stadium 8 times a year. Considering you have Stadiums with 20 year waiting lists, it's hard to believe. Winning will solve everything

I'm still amazed that the NFL has this stupid rule.

The only thing it does is hurt their fans and their bottom line in the long run. If people won't pay right now why would they be any more enthusiastic to pay to watch a team they only get to see for half the games (if every home game isn't sold out).

If the prices were lower the owners would get a better deal buying all of the left-over tickets: there's a solution to everything!

Besides, doesn't the new deal with the players give owners a lot more money than before? And aren't NFL owners such A-holes?

DC Dolfan, I'm a season ticket holder so I won't miss any of the games.

Posted by: bobbyd12 | August 29, 2011 at 05:24 PM

I know how to use a web browser so I will continue to get any game I want free of charge.

Beat the patriots and there will be more sell outs on the horizon.

Not a season ticket holder, that's nice but why exactly should I care??

I usually don't start shooting TV's and stuff until the bye week.

I set a new record Saturday night. I smashed my computer tower during the live feed of a PRE SEASON GAME!.

I thought it was my computer, turns out it was first rows crappy streaming-Dooh.

I can't get my living room computer to download adobe, so I can't live stream on it. Anyways, I guess this latest news means I should replace the computer in the Bed Room.

Dear 'Not a season ticket holder but still cool'

You might know "how to use a Web Browser" but unless you boot up from a locked CD, chances are that your machine is severely INFECTED!

odinseye (@ 5:49 PM)

Destroying your AV equipment can be very expensive...

Might I suggest hiding your Direct TV behind

"If you build it, they will come" = Field of Dreams

"Win, and they will come" = DOLPHINS


Thanks for your concern. I run stuff like that through a virtual machine to be safe. No chance of infection that way.

bush was a big name acquisition

I've lived streamed for the past three years. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 NFL games. I avs it into my big screen.

Even if my machine is severely infected, it's still working(up until Saturday night).

Even if I have to buy a new one every three or four years, it still beats the he ll out payin for the Sunday Ticket every season.

So...we're all to believe the pre-season game against a team no one cares about (Carolina) is mysteriously sold out, and therefore shown on live TV? But the pre-season game against a team a lot of people care about (Dallas) is NOT sold out, and won't be shown on TV?

In other words, we're supposed to buy into the idea that more people paid to see the Fins play the Panthers--one of the leagues worst teams--than paid to see the Fins play the Cowboys--one of the league's most popular teams?

Hmmmm...what this really means is all of those fans thinking they'd get to watch the Boys/Fins game on live TV, too bad! You'll have to shell out the big $$$$ for tickets, food and parking if you want to see the Boys/Fins live. (After all, can't charge someone sitting at home watching on the game on their HDTV $8 for a beer!)

Thanks for serving us bulls**t and telling us it's filet mignon, Fins management. Way to keep that fan base happy!!!

"Not a season ticket holder.."

Good to see you have a Head on your Shoulders...

Your probably NOT an
'American Idol' Worshiper:)

Cheering for FG`s doesn`t sell tickets....

bobby, you're right, winning will solve everything. And you're right it's sad. But, I also think there's a way to lose and STILL get butts in the seats (of course, as fans, we want our team to win). But if we lost in style, like in a shootout 35-28, 42-38, putting up lots of points, a la the Colts before they put it all together, then maybe the fickle Miami fans would show anyway.

Look, Miami isn't Boston. Who the HELL has anything to do OTHER than watch the Pats or the Red Sox in Boston. That's one of the worst places on Earth (all due respect to people who live there). Or Green Bay. But Miami is SUN CITY!! There's PLENTY to do, TOO MUCH to do. So you really need to entice the Miami-S. Florida resident to make a trip and spend 3-4 hours in a stadium. In D.C., on Sundays, the ONLY thing to do (besides screwing an intern if you're a politician) is go watch the Redskins, so it doesn't matter the product on the field here.

But in Miami, there are other factors working. Yes, I agree with Craig that it's the economy to a large part, but I really think if Miami opened up their offense (which they are doing). If they produced an exciting, entertaining product on the field, the stadium would swell.

Now, bobby, Craig, other true fans, like me, we love the 10-7 games in the rain with all the action in the trenches, I get that. I'm not saying get rid of that totally. But a whole season of that wears on folks. And there aren't enough true fans IMO to fill the stadium week in and week out. You need peripheral fans, sometimey fans, fans of entertaining football too (college fans and the like). So that's why I want Daboll to stretch the field. It plays to Henne's strength, as WELL as the right move from a P.R. standpoint.

odinseye (@ 5:49 PM)

Destroying your AV equipment can be very expensive...

Might I suggest hiding your Direct TV behind

Posted by: Elvis | August 29, 2011 at 05:55 PM

Bullet proof glass? That's so eighties. The year we went 1-15 I upgraded to "LEXAN".

Not only is it bullet proof, it's scratch resistent as well. Light weight and mounts easily to most HD TV's. ;p

Show me something. Show me their serious about competing in this division. Henne looks better but a Head Coach that was a O Line coach has lost all credibility. Columbo and Carey look slow and old.
I predict they will sign another Cowboy Gurode who is recovering from a knee injury "He's a guy we know" says Sparano. Then move Pouncey to guard and Carey back to RT. Then maybe... Maybe I'll think about blowing money on tickets. Most likely I will be watching at bar somewhere.

the one good run bush had and it was hard fought the stupid ref called a bulls$$t holding call on polite. I watched that play again a couple of times and there is no way what polite did was a hold



The Denver game is also in danger? Doesn't Tebow play there? I won't miss that game.... Tebow is just swell!

DC, great post. Nothing I can disagree with

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