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Q&A: NFL's troubling blackout rules

NFL's troubling blackout rules

Normally the networks that carry the NFL on Sunday afternoons alternate weeks to carry a doubleheader. However, when the Bucs play a home game on Sunday afternoon, there is no network doubleheader. Why is that?

Welcome to the incredibly intricate and widely reviled blackout rules of the NFL. Do an Internet search of "NFL blackout rules" and you'll find thousands of rants against the rules.

Regardless, when the Bucs play a home game on a Sunday, there is no other game aired on TV at the same time — even if the Bucs sell out — because the NFL wants:

• The local team to have every opportunity to sell every last ticket, and having an option could mean a fan might choose to view said doubleheader from his couch instead of buying a ticket to the local team's game.

• Fans to go to the stadium so the stadiums will be full for the TV viewers, who will see how much fun the fans at the stadium are having and thus will want to buy tickets of their own.

• The local TV station showing the game to get the highest possible ratings so it can sell plenty of ads and charge more for them so the NFL's TV rights are worth more every year.

FHFA puts kibosh on bonuses

I would like to know if the CEOs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are getting the big bonuses they were reported to be getting.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, said it will not allow the companies to make "golden parachute" severance payments to the two ousted CEOs, according to the Wall Street Journal. The FHFA made the announcement Sept. 15, after reports of the proposed payouts triggered outrage.

Daniel Mudd, president and CEO of Fannie Mae since 2000, was in line to receive $6-million to $8-million. The exit package for Richard Syron, chairman and CEO of Freddie Mac since 2003, could have totaled $15-million. The value of what the men will get, in pensions and other payments, isn't clear.

Cement used to make concrete

What is the difference between cement and concrete?

The terms cement and concrete often are used interchangeably and incorrectly. Cement is the gray powder that comes in bags. Concrete is the combination of cement, water, sand and gravel.

Cement is made from limestone and clay that is crushed, heated and ground into a powder. When mixed with water, it sets. Concrete is a structural material consisting of an aggregate, usually sand and gravel, that is bonded together by cement and water. Concrete has great strength and can adapt to virtually any form. It is fire resistant and one of the most common building materials in the world.

Q&A: NFL's troubling blackout rules 09/25/08 [Last modified: Thursday, September 25, 2008 12:02pm]
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