The NFL voted to suspended the league's lockout policy on Monday after a 31-1 vote to nix television blackouts for one year.
We bet it won't take you long to guess who the one vote against the proposal was...
Mike Brown and the Bengals were the lone "no" vote, but they weren't actually against suspending the blackout rule. Instead, Brown was against the proposal because of the revenue-sharing the NFL imposed:
"I didn’t vote against lifting the blackout as much as I voted against they tied to it a requirement that teams that are low-revenue teams, teams that aren't selling out, have to pay a higher visiting team share," said Bengals president Mike Brown shortly after the vote at the Arizona Biltmore.
"I find that discriminatory. I object to it. I think all teams should pay the same visiting teams share. I asked if that could be separated out. There didn’t seem to be any interest in separating it out. It was joined in the resolution on the blackout together with lifting the blackout rule. So just to be consistent with what I said, I voted against it on principle. If it had been just the blackout rule standing alone, I would have voted to terminate the blackout. But it wasn’t."
Paul Dehner at the Cincinnati Enquirer provided a good explanation as to why this rule would be unfair to home teams who don't reach the current 85-percent threshold required to prevent a blackout:
The basics of the club's problem are that historically, all revenue from ticket sales have been shared by two-thirds for the home team and one-third for the visitors. That will still be in place here. However, a new addition connected to this vote requires the revenue shared with the road team be no lower than 85 percent of stadium capacity.
So, if a team only sold out 80 percent of the stadium, it would still have to share an 85 percent number with the visitors and essentially purchase five percent of the empty seats.
It makes sense that Brown doesn't seem concerned with the blackout policy itself. After all, they've sold out 19 straight games in the regular season and postseason since their last blackout against the Oakland Raiders in 2012.
It also makes sense that he doesn't want to be on the hook for paying for empty seats.