"The rule was initially created at a time when the NFL also employed the blackout rule that required a game to be sold out 72 hours before kickoff to be televised in local markets," explains ProFootballTalk's Michael David Smith. "The rule harkens back to a day when teams relied on ticket sales and worried that fans wouldn’t attend games if they could just stay home and watch for free. But times have changed, and television, not ticket sales, is the primary source of revenue for the NFL now. The league has already abandoned the blackout rule and last year began to relax the single header protection rule. Last year the league allowed FOX or CBS to air a game when the home team was playing on the other network twice a season, and this year FOX and CBS can do it four times a season."