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Packer TV blackouts: How's 5 out of 16?

While the NFL's TV schedule is always subject to change, it looks like Packer fans in River Falls will likely get to see their home team almost 70% of the time in 2010.

That's the word from Dave Nyberg, corporate affairs manager in St. Paul for Comcast, the cable-TV provider for River Falls. Locally, those who have satellite-TV are in the same boat.

"The NFL's lock-tight hold on TV contracts and market designations still makes it difficult for viewers in cross-border communities like Hudson and River Falls to watch all games of their home-state team," Nyberg said, adding the situation is reversed in Winona, Minn., where residents there miss some Minnesota Vikings games due to market control across the river from La Crosse, where all Packer games are shown.

Back in River Falls, fans can expect five Packer games to be blacked out, including three in a row starting in late November. Those blackouts are:

--Buffalo Bills (game two of the season), Sunday noon, Sept. 19; Atlanta Falcons, Sunday noon, Nov. 28; San Francisco 49ers, Sunday noon, Dec. 5; Detroit Lions, Sunday noon, Dec. 12; and the Chicago Bears (season finale), Sunday noon, Jan. 2.

Nyberg said one other Packer game, Oct. 17 against the Miami Dolphins, should be televised, but the final decision rests with the local station, WCCO-TV.

Nyberg reminded Journal readers that the NFL has the right to shift game times under a flexible scheduling deal with broadcast networks. This could add another Packer telecast or two, especially if games become nationally televised.

Comcast subscribers can also pay extra for NFL Network Red Zone as part of their service. This features live game coverage across the NFL when teams on offense reach the 20-yard line (red zone).

Satellite-TV Direct subscribers can pay extra to access all regular season games on NFL Sunday Ticket. Many local bars pay for this service so their patrons can watch all Packer telecasts.

Of course, TV markets and blackouts have no effect on regular season Packer radio broadcasts on local station WEVR.

All Packer games are carried on WEVR's FM 106.3. When there's no conflict with the Milwaukee Brewers, Packer games are also carried on WEVR's AM1550.

The well-liked Packer radio announcers are Wayne Larrivee and Larry McCarren.