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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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It sucks that i wont be able to watch the Dolphins suprise these haters this year.

I think it is funny how the fans are getting blamed for not buying tickets when this team has not done anything in 10 years. And how it sucks to get down by more than a field goal and knowing it is a lose.

I've been saying it for years, we the fans want Marino style football, win or lose. At least it's fun to watch which is the point with sports. I hate a running, play defense football team, there boring like baseball. Money should be spent on the O side of the ball, eveyone knows it's easier and cheaper to play D.

What you have to do is look at the teams that have the best offensive lines.

Some of their depth players would be starting elsewhere.

Try to find a team with a great O-line and struggling on the D-line.

Offer one of our D-lineman and even package a 6th or 7th rounder if you have too.

Anybody have any idea what teams have great O-lines, that are struggling on the D-line?

Who is going to spend money for a fins game when you can get depressed much happier and cheaper on bourbon and not even need to leave home.

move the team to LA. It'll be closer to me. I might actually go to a home game sometime :-)

welcome to reality ross, u kept the same garbage and your getting what u deserve. all the smart fans staying home. and just think all u had to do was fire ireland and u would have cohwer and every game sold out.

F@ck em if they don't put it on tv... I don't f@cking live there anyway... Does it really surprise anyone???? REALLY??? the FO can't keep screwing up and screwing up and we're suppose to take it? Any watch us get our @ss kicked over and over...and after this lockout sh@t???? I for one am already waiting for next year after this stupid FO is fired. Maybe everyone saying eff you might help that happen.



Does anyone know if this affects Direct TV and the NFL sunday package??

I never cared for the idea of turning home games into Celebrity styled Entertainment, I just didn`t realize how dertrimental it could be to the teams focus as well as the fans. I have been attending home games for over 30 years now and can`t remember the last time I went thru a Season with not only alot of opposing team fans in the stands but also the disinterested ones who are simply taking up space in the Stadium playing with their Twitter or rambling on and on with their stupidities during the games!!!

I was more annoyed with these "American Idol C/D-List celeb. worshipers" than opposing fans in all honesty. If you`ve attended Miami Home games at all thru Fins History dating all the way back to the 70`s HEY DAY then you know Jets,Pats and Bills fans make the trek annually because alot are already in S.Fla during the Winter Time anyway.

Last Season was although a very different story, it really is a 3 ring circus as some have already alluded to. From that rediculous orange Carpet with WANA BE Paparazzi (Pathetic sight) and idiot sycaphonts who later make there way into the Stadium to revel in some sort of pageantry instead of the game. It took from my focus some at times last Season and is hurting the experience of attending games.

I have followed both the Fins and Canes to opposing Stadiums as well in my lifetime but that 2nd rate dog and poney show Ross gave us last Season is without a doubt the worst thing I`ve ever seen, these NEUTRAL idiots who scream TOUCHDOWN after each F.G. are far worse than opposing Fans, believe me!!!

socal no it doesn't. only for the locals.

Thanks Boulder

One after another, just mindless drivel from stupid, ignorant people. Why the hatred for Ireland ? Because he didn't hit on EVERY PICK ??? Because he didn't bring in another QB when the OC was the main problem ? Most of you are absolute morons...that's a safe bet. I don't think your ignorance and stupidity begin and end with football. I think that when it comes to your work, politics, your personal lives etc...you're just pathetic human beings, devoid of logic and reason and too dumb and uneducated to really understand most things.

Boulder can we get the last pre-season game online or is that out also? If not do you know a better link than FirstRow, it was really bad last week! Thanks

socal do u really want to watch billy jo tolliver play for dallas vs us and larry johnson and many more who will never play a down this year.

Bloggers that call others morons are morons and will never know how stupid they are.

By the way to anybody giving this F.O. threat any real thought, think about this. It was last Season when in our last 2 HOME games that we avareged 27,000 people in the stans, sending a loud and clear message to this Org. under Ross. I remember in particular the Lions game which I was at and thought to myself, Ross must be dropping a lod in his pants because he has to be loosing money here!!

Ross though apparently still hasn`t figured out that at the end of the day we are a Football town and he has to give us a 1st rate product if he wants us back in the stands, his threats fall on deaf ears because given the fact that my investment is emotional compared to his financial one then my money says he blinks first, stick to your guns people lets leave that stadium empty until we get a 1st rate F.O. to give us a WHOLE TEAM again not bits an pieces!!!!!!!!!!!

Folks seem to remember only the good things from the past. Prior to this streak of sell outs, the threat of a black out always hovered over the Dolphins - and that was during Marino's glory years! Heck, live televised preseason games were a real rarity. I remember staying up late to watch tape delayed games on the old WCIX Channel 6 in the 1980's. Face it - this is an event town, and selling out games of any sort has always been a challenge. I'm shocked they've had this streak - especially during the lean years.

Everyone needs to chill out - enough with the negativity. The team is not "horrible" as so many radio hosts like to say (Sedano, Big O). They've got talent - and heck even Henne looks decent. Give them a chance.

Yep! Dusty I do because a it's my team of choice and I try to stay positive and supportive irregardless of who is playing!

Hey, Mr. Ross'

Your PR stinks. The FO won't feed the press enough for them to keep the fans involved or even feel that they matter.

Gold plated opportunities to share and blend with fans feelings are ignored. Events such as the retirement if Zack Thomas and the handling of Jason Tayor get stuffed in deference to an ego maniacal moron whose name shall remain nameless.

The Dolphins FO plays fumble puck with day to day Dolphins feelings with little sensitivity and no results.

Mr. Ross, any good executive knows that the face his secretary shows to the world becomes his face. Here's a news flash, the face your front office shows the fans, either directly or through the press, is the window on the world through which the fans see the Dolphins. Man, you've got the uglies.

If you would shave enough off of just one of those eight digit player's pay checks to buy one six digit PR man responsible for creating a "Dolphin's 12th man" it wouldn't be necessary to bribe, intimidate or beg fans to buy tickets to the game so they can stay home and watch it on TV.

There is a fallacy that fans only buy tickets when their team wins. BS. The Chicago Cubs have sold out for decades with out a winner. Cub fans hoot, holler and root for their team and have even been known to brag about how bad they are. Theycame to the game with sacks on their heads but they came to the games. Laughing and smiling. That's what fans do when they feel like they are rooting for THEIR TEAM.

We all hope your front office is technically 100%. We know that personality wise they are a big fat zero.
Hire a PR man, have him report to you,and give him some clout.

You vote with your dollars. When you tire of a coach or GM you stop paying him, tell him he's fired. The fans vote with their dollars. When they tire of the Dolphins they stop voting.

Winning is great but only one team can win it all and 32 teams have to stay in business. There is a lot more missing in Miami than wins. What's wrong? Easy. When a fish rots it starts at the head. We don't have a problem with our team. We have a dis-functional family.

Want to have a meeting. I know a place with lots of empty seats.

I for one love to have a slice of pizza and a couple beers watching a game and you would have to be an absolute fool to go to the stadium and pay those price gouging greedy bastards 9 dollars per beer 5 dollars for a slice and on and on I'd rather go to a bar and watch and eat and drink for far less money NFL = greed greed greed stick your tickets where the sun don't shine

Can't see better than 8-8. The entire FO are in over their head including the owner.

Hate to say it but this team is 1 owner and 2 HC's away from being a serious team again. For now we remain a half tease.

I remember staying up late to watch tape delayed games on the old WCIX Channel 6 in the 1980's. Face it - this is an event town, and selling out games of any sort has always been a challenge. I'm shocked they've had this streak - especially during the lean years.

Publicado por: JC | August 29, 2011 at 07:17 PM

Good Point!! WCIX would cancel Night Owl theater and give the tape delay during the Pre-Season.

Actually, the NFL did a very big report on this a couple of years ago. And I don't care how many of you say it won't happen, or this or that.
The NFL, in the near future, said any games that don't sell out in a local market will be available on PPV, at the average cost of a ticket at that Stadium, in other words, if the Fins dont sell out, it will cost local fans $35.00 for PPV. The NFL feels with 3D television and the comfort of staying home to watch the game will have a negative effect on a lot of markets in the future. This is how they plan on solving that problem. Again, this is from an NFL report, not from me.


Hows it going bro ? We need help on the front line real bad. We can't compete like this.

Don't underestimate Buffalo, their QB is looking good and Gailey knows what he is doing. They are going to be a very good team again in another year or two.

They will never stop all the free streamers. I've been streaming games free for a few years. The FBI seized some of those sites so they just moved offshore. Pretty hard to prevent. I don't live in Florida but I have seen every Miami game for free for some time now. Now they are streaming in HD, so I can see the game on a big monitor with excellent picture quality.

Webber thanks what are some of those sites?

sure it could bobbyd. soon u wont need more than a few thousand seats in stadiums either






socal they change their names frequently but if you google around you find them. Two right now that I use are adthenet and soccertvlive, just google those, sometimes they have a separate tab for live sports and football abroad is soccer so sometimes its under Am. Football - American Football.

If this keeps up maybe the Dolphins will creep into the conversations about moving a team to L.A. Way to go South Florida! Hopefully the bandwagon will pull back into town before the team has to leave.

What a soap opera going here:

Sparano says Henne was “outstanding” against Bucs
Posted by Mike Florio on August 29, 2011, 7:24 PM EDT

The coach who kept his job only after the boss couldn’t get the guy he wanted has a quarterback who kept his job only after the coach couldn’t get the guy he wanted. And now, with the coach under immense pressure to make something good happen in 2011, he’s wrapping his arms tightly around said quarterback.





Hey vaustn lots of teams have been worse than the fins making the same boneheaded moves and the fans don't abandon the team. The reason people aren't going is because there is just too much to do in that area. It has very little to do with the handful of you that are too cheap to buy tickets and use mediocrity as your excuse.

I mean for f**ks sake the Heat bought three of the best players in the league and yet they still had to beg fans to get to the games before the third. People weren't going and the Heats home court advantage suffered. This is obviously a big problem in Florida and has little to do with winning if you use the Heat as an example. Hopefully Texans fans will start buying tickets so you people can sit home and watch the game.

JUSTIN, hahahahaha! Pretty funny but don't discount what I said. The same thing happened to my New York Islanders and now there's talk about them leaving the state. Owners can't afford to keep teams where they're not wanted and the reality of relocation can creep up damn fast. Especially with the economy being so bad and the NFL wanting a team in LA. All it takes is one phone call so I would suggest to everyone that sees this that you START BUYING FREAKING TICKETS!



The reason people aren't going is because there is just too much to do in that area.

Posted by: LouD | August 29, 2011 at 07:52 PM

I don't agree. I know Miami very well. Outside of beaches it has nothing that every other major city has. Many cities like NY, San Fran, Chicago, LA have far more going on than Miami. Miami is a cultural void compared to those places.

The issue is they went from 2 decades of playoff bound seasons to over a decade with no playoff win. People have lost interest and faith in the merry go round of incompetent or inflated ego coaches that have come in. The fins have been awful and not remotely exciting to watch since Marino left.

(That's Sooo 1950's)


Just sayin...

S N O O P - D O G




THAT'S the way to keep your
Football Team focused on winning!

There is always going to be fans who don't want to sit at home in front of a TV on Sunday .Going to game, tailgating to me is a whole hell of a lot better then sitting in a bar or at home. Everybody has their own opinion but I would much rather be there

Hell, that don't matter to me. I began following the Dolphins on the radio(Joe Auer, remember?) and I will continue to follow them on the radio, if need be.

"The issue is they went from 2 decades of playoff bound seasons to over a decade with no playoff win. People have lost interest and faith in the merry go round of incompetent or inflated ego coaches that have come in. The fins have been awful and not remotely exciting to watch since Marino left."

Webber you said there is much more to do in NY so I'm wondering then why the fans didn't cause tv lockouts by not going to games when the Jets sucked so bad for so long. I mean they don't even have their own stadium. It said the Giants on the outside of the old Meadowlands but yet Jets fans still bought tickets. Same goes for San Fran and Chicago.

I agree bobby and I'll tell you if I was lucky enough to have a home town team to root for I would be buying season tickets every year. Don't care if they're not the best, they're my team and I would support them through thick and thin. If people can't afford it that's one thing but to blame the team because they're not good is laughable considering a lot of teams aren't good yet people still go.

We never used to go to the OB, bobbyd12, to eat BBQ and talk BS. We went to watch good Football.

Because LouD

The Jets were NEVER a perennial playoff team for 20 years. So they had hope. Miami fans got so spoiled they became disappointed, embarrassed and even refulsion. They are protesting, bring us back the glory, then we'll go back.

LouD, good to hear. Man, it's NFL Football, I have a lot of fun at the games.


Also, the population of Miami has changed drastically. Many are not from the area, have no roots with the fins, and many no roots at all with football.

Well Oscar Canosa, like I said, to each his own. I enjoy the tail gating, the atmosphere, the concerts. Yes, the game is number one, but that doesn't mean the rest of the time should be dead space. I have friends and family come down from up north, so to me it's a good time all around.

Yeah, we used to go occassionally when the Dolphins were under George Wilson(Wahoo McDaniels, remember?). But the year after Shula took over we decided to buy Season tickets.

It is true that Miami has changed demographically, Webber. But our sons are = to us, our grandkids are = to us. Put a good product on the Field and you will see.

Who is going to spend money for a fins game when you can get depressed much happier and cheaper on bourbon and not even need to leave home.

Posted by: Jim Beam | August 29, 2011 at 06:47 PM

Hey, don't be like that.

Everybody needs somebody sometimes.......you can come over to my house and watch the game...........

This is what you SOB's get for making us wait all off season for any football. Next time have the CBA done on time stupids!!

Have the Fins management been following the news lately.. not the football new, but the Economy ones.. Bottom line, the unemployment rate keeps going up in South Florida..

LOWER THE PRICES, Or else be prepared to have a few blackouts...

Not by any stretch of the imagination are we pendejos(fools) here.

the one thing that always got me about sports fan is they can have no money to pay their mortgage or other bills but they would never miss buying their season tickets. maybe it's just that the fans in south florida have their priorities in the right place as compared to others. the economy is bad and peeople are out of work but, somehow, nfl fans are still buying tickets.
i've been lucky enough to not have been affected by the economy at any time but i can tell you i would much rather spend my money on something than tickets to a pro football game that is going to help make these idiot owners and cry baby players more money. i watch them when they are on in my area, which isn't much. but i'll be damned if i'm going to spend $300 for sunday ticket. i'd rather save it and use it when we take the kids on vacation.

amazing. sanchez in 5 for 11 for 30 yds in the first half, looked like $hit and the jets are leading 7-3 at the half.

well, one saving grace for the fins is the giants redzone offense looks worse. missed on a fourth and goal from the one and the jets took over. still 7-3. rex must still have that lucky rabbits foot.

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