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The Pack, blackouts back

The Green Bay Packers open the regular season at home at Lambeau Field Sept. 9. It turns out that most Packer games will be televised in the River Falls area for the 2012 season.

That's the good news.

The bad is that there are at least three games, including two near the end of the season, now scheduled to be blacked out.

The information about Packer telecasts and blackouts comes from Comcast cable-TV spokesman Davy Nyberg.

Blackouts have to do with NFL policy and television markets throughout the country.

In this case, the Twin Cities TV market includes River Falls and parts of western Wisconsin. When there's a conflict between Packer and Minnesota Viking games, the latter is always shown and the former is blacked out.

Nyberg points out that TV networks have flexibility to change schedules and starting times for games are sometimes changed by the NFL. Such changes could affect the telecast schedule.

The Packers' 3 p.m. Sunday home opener against the San Francisco 49ers is scheduled to be carried on KMSP-TV (Fox).

The next game, Thursday night, Sept. 13, at home against the Chicago Bears will be carried on the NFL Network. Game three Monday night, Sept. 24, on the road against the Seattle Seahawks will be carried by ESPN.

The only schedule blackouts are game seven at noon Sunday, Oct. 21, against the St. Louis Rams, and games 14 and 15, on the road Dec. 16 against the Chicago Bears and at home Dec. 23 against the Tennessee Titans.

The season finale Dec. 30 is with the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis, so naturally that game will be shown locally -- for Packer and Viking fans.