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FCC Moves To End Televised Sports Black-Outs

From The Hill:

FCC moves to end sports blackouts

By Brendan Sasso | December 18, 2013

The Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to consider a proposal that would end blackout rules for televised sporting events. The rules, first adopted in 1975, prohibit cable and satellite TV providers from offering a sports event if the game is blacked out on local broadcast television stations.

Dropping the rules would have the biggest impact on the NFL, which requires broadcasters to black out games if the local team does not sell out the stadium. The rules were originally intended to encourage fans to buy tickets to see the game live…

Why is the FCC doing this now? Are they trying raise awareness about the brutal savagery that is tackle football?

Or, since the NFL is adamantly opposed to lifting blackouts (see below), maybe they are trying to punish them for not complying with all of the administration’s wishes. Such as not promoting Obama-Care.

Even if the FCC repeals its rules, it might not end sports blackouts altogether. Leagues, TV broadcasters and cable providers could still agree to contracts restricting access to games. But critics of the FCC rules argue that the government shouldn’t be involved in enforcing the blackouts…

But Brian McCarthy, a spokesman for the NFL, said the league strongly opposes any change in the FCC rule. "We are on pace for a historic low number of blackouts since the policy was implemented 40 years ago," he said in a statement.

"While affecting very few games the past decade, the blackout rule is very important in supporting NFL stadiums and the ability of NFL clubs to sell tickets and keeping our games attractive as television programming with large crowds."

McCathy [sic] noted that only one NFL game has been blacked out this season, down from 52 games 15 years ago…

Yeah, well maybe the NFL will be a little more compliant when the administration asks them for a small favor.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, December 19th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

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