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Bengals v Giants will be live in local television markets

When the NFL lifted the league's blackout policy, it crushed tradition in Cincinnati. Instead of waiting until 11 p.m. to watch home preseason games, the NFL decided you can watch now watch them live! This is an exciting change.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

When the NFL dickishly maintained their archaic blackout policy into the 21st century, it was also applied to meaningless preseason games where many tickets were financially similar to costs in the regular season. Why would any non-season ticket holder, who automatically gets preseason tickets, purchase a preseason game where most of the team's superstars would make cameo appearances before giving way to players who you need a roster sheet to identify.

It's not unlike buying two stringy french fries for $30, when you could buy you a lobster, loaded baked potato and onion rings, for the same price at the same restaurant.

However, since reasonably-intelligent folks didn't (and still don't) see the value of purchasing preseason tickets, home games would fall under the league's blackout policy, meaning any game that wasn't sold out within the 75-mile radius from that team's home stadium would be blacked out. Twice, every year, home preseason games wouldn't air live and local markets would be allowed to only show a tape delayed version of the game, typically around 11 p.m. (local).

All of that changed in March.

The NFL announced earlier this year that the league suspended their blackout policy for preseason and regular season games for one year. Greg Aiello, the league's spokesman, wrote a tweet in March saying that "NFL clubs have approved suspension of local blackout policy for 2015 pre- and regular seasons."

What does this mean for Friday night, when the Bengals open their preseason against the New York Giants at Paul Brown Stadium?

If you're within the team's market area, you'll see the game live from the comfort of your living room, bar, bedroom, kitchen, shower, basement, work, car, office, Google Glass, iWatch, or through the binoculars of your neighbor's television, because you're convinced they're the inspiration for The Americans.