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Yearbook, Nov. 12: NFL blackouts approved

11/12/2012

Nov. 12, 1953: In the fledgling days of the NFL, commissioner Bert Bell designed a strategy to try to keep local fans from all staying home and watching games on TV. His solution: Blacking them out for all households within a 75-mile radius, a ruling challenged as a possible antitrust violation until this day 59 years ago, when U.S. District Court judge Allan K. Grim ruled on the league's side.

Blackouts remain today. And although they're down in general, the issue remains contentious -- especially in occasionally blacked-out cities such as Tampa Bay, San Diego and Cincinnati (for the first time in 2012 this past Sunday).