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NFL to Make Blacked-Out Games Available Online

The NFL isn't getting rid of its blackout policy, but it is doing the next best thing by relaxing it a bit.

NFL games that are blacked out in home team markets this season will be shown on in their entirety on a delayed basis, the NFL announced Thursday.

The league's new NFL Game Rewind package on will make all games available on an on-demand, subscription basis throughout the 2009 regular and postseason. However, games blacked out locally for failing to sell out 72 hours in advance will be available on at no cost in the affected home markets.

These free "re-broadcasts" locally of blacked-out games will be available at beginning at midnight on the day of the game and remain available for 72 hours (except during ESPN Monday Night Football telecasts).

I guess this is better than not seeing the game at all, but I don't think it will be possible for me to watch the game without finding out the result beforehand.  I probably wouldn't want to wait until midnight to see what happened anyway, but at the very least this will give fans a chance to watch entire games.  People in the blackout zone last year only got to see what happened via highlights, so being able to watch a full game will be better in that regard.