Thursday, December 19, 2013

FCC Looking at Non-Concussion-Related NFL Blackouts

The new NFL logo went into use at the 2008 draft.
. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The FCC yesterday released a proposed rule-making that would eliminate sports-blackout rules created in 1975 that prohibit broadcasting NFL games in markets in which the home team doesn't sell-out the stadium, the Los Angeles Times reported today.

Final action on the proposal wouldn't occur before Spring 2014, at the earliest, the Times reported, but proponents, including Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz.) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D.-Conn.) and opponents, the National Football League and the National Association of Broadcasters, are already girding for battle.

Advocates for eliminating the blackout point out that when the broadcast restriction was first imposed, ticket sales were the NFL's bread-and-butter, whereas now, merchandise and television are the league's principal revenue sources.  Opponents fear no-blackout means pay-tv channels will swoop in to air the gridiron contests at the expense of  revenues to local free broadcasters.
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