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Thread: FCC votes to end sports blackout rules

  1. #1

    FCC votes to end sports blackout rules

    The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday voted to kill off its four-decade-old sports blackout rules over the fierce objections of the NFL.

    In a unanimous decision, the five members of the commission said that the rules, which ban cable and satellite companies from showing games blacked out on local broadcast channels, are out of date and hurt consumers.

    “It’s a simple fact: the federal government should not be party to sports teams keeping their fans from viewing the games, period,” said Chairman Tom Wheeler.

    The NFL requires local broadcast stations, such as CBS and Fox, to black out games that don't sell out. The FCC's old rules extended that blackout to cable or satellite companies by banning them from airing any game that is blacked out on local broadcast TV.

    The FCC regulations date back to 1975, when sports leagues feared that the rise of televised games would lead to a drop-off in ticket sales.
    “This FCC rule, whatever sense it made in 1975, is completely obsolete and outdated, and simply empowers the NFL to keep fans in the dark and prevent them from watching games they deserve to see,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) told reporters ahead of the vote.

    Even after the FCC move, the NFL can still make individual deals with cable and satellite providers to black out certain games. But supporters of the FCC’s action said that it was not the government’s place to side with the league against fans.

    “It takes a public policy finger off the scale of another future blackout,” said Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, a Democrat.

    The vote is a major defeat for the NFL.

    The multibillion-dollar league launched a concerted lobbying blitz to save the rules this summer, ahead of Tuesday’s vote. The league encouraged thousands of fans to voice their support for the rules and even brought on Hall of Fame wide receiver Lynn Swann to help with the public push.

    Without the rules in place, the league had warned that it could be forced to move some games off free broadcast TV and onto channels that can only be picked up with a cable or satellite subscription.

    Critics said the league was bluffing.

    “There’s no way this can happen anytime soon,” argued Commissioner Ajit Pai, a Republican. “For one, the league’s major profits these days come from merchandise and TV revenues, not gate sales.”

    Additionally, the NFL’s current contract with broadcaster networks won’t run out until 2022.

    Switching its model so that fewer fans could watch games for free would be “cutting off its nose to spite its face,” Pai said.

    After the vote, the NFL seemed to confirm that it had no plans to switch its model.


  2. #2

    Re: FCC votes to end sports blackout rules

    Wow. An Obama agency saying they shouldn't interfere. That's a first.

  3. #3

    Re: FCC votes to end sports blackout rules

    Now I'll have to watch the Jaguars EVERY weekend.

    Thanks, Obama.

  4. #4

    Re: FCC votes to end sports blackout rules

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tradition
    Now I'll have to watch the Jaguars EVERY weekend.

    Thanks, Obama.

    Since Khan has owned the team, there haven't been any blacked out games in the normal viewing area. If you're in the extended viewing area, my apologies.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

    Voltaire (1694 - 1778)

  5. #5

    Re: FCC votes to end sports blackout rules

    sh!t-can the NFL...
    http://www.bigdelivery.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=31&dateline=142444635  1

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