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Bills roundup: A closer look at NFL blackout policy

By Tim Graham

In today's Buffalo News, reporter Gene Warner casts a spotlight on the NFL's new blackout policy, offering new details and issues for the Buffalo Bills to consider.

Each NFL club has the choice to participate in the new system, which would allow games to be broadcast locally once 85 percent of non-premium tickets are sold. There are 60,000 non-premium seats in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

The bullet-points to mull from Warner's article:

* Teams opting into the new policy must pay additional gate receipts into a league revenue pool. This could cost the Bills "several hundred thousand dollars per season," Warner writes. Teams would have to absorb that cost or raise ticket prices to fill the void.

* A lower ticket threshold could lead to fans to eschew purchasing tickets because they figure more borderline games will be on TV.

* Fans excited about the new blackout policy could be disappointed anyway because games that don't sell enough still will be taken off the airwaves.

As mentioned Monday on Press Coverage, the Bills will have a difficult decision on their hands, trying to maximize revenue while not stepping into a public-relations pothole.

Other Bills links to click ...

* You need to be an ESPN Insider to check out this piece from Scouts Inc. analyst Gary Horton, who uses game film to examine how the Bills' offseason acquisitions will morph their defense.

* Aaron Lowinger of muses on the NFL's concussion problem and Mark Kelso's mondo helmet.

*'s Josh Bauer lists five Bills who need to put up or shut up in 2012: Donald Jones, C.J. Spiller, Torell Troup, Terrence McGee and Chan Gailey.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |