Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sen. McCain Wants to Buck NFL Blackouts

Creative Loafing's Mitch Perry and the Los Angeles Times report that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is pushing for new legislation to ban blackouts in NFL stadiums subsidized with public dollars.  The "Maverick" of Capital Hill is ironically floating an idea we heard last year from the "Maverick" of the Florida Legislature, Rep. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey:
According to the Los Angeles Times:
McCain's bill also calls for elimination of the sports blackout rule which prohibits a local TV station from showing an NFL game that is going on in its market if the event is not sold out. McCain wants to gut that rule for any team whose stadium was funded with taxpayer dollars.
The blackout is not the paramount measure in McCain's legislation, which is actually about allowing satellite and cable companies to start selling channels on an individual or "a la carte" basis to consumers. McCain says his Television Consumer Freedom Act of 2013 will "help shift the landscape to benefit television consumers."
For years McCain has blasted the cable companies for charging customers for channels that they never watch. It's called bundling, and the Arizona Senator said on Thursday it's time for content providers to stop charging that way.
"When the venue in which these sporting events take place has been the beneficiary of taxpayer funding, it is unconscionable to deny those taxpayers who paid for it the ability to watch the games on television when they would otherwise be available," McCain said.
For all the criticism about the blackout rule, it should be noted that before Congress intervened in 1973, no NFL home games were broadcast in a local market, regardless of whether the game was sold out or not.
The last time a U.S. Senator tackled the NFL blackout issue, it didn't get very far.  However, the NFL did loosen its blackout policy a (teeny, tiny, miniscule) bit last year.


  1. Thank you John McCain and thank you Senator Tom Coburn Oklahoma Senator who wants to “Pass Act Stripping NFL of Tax-Exempt Status”

    Read more at:

  2. Tell McCain to worry more about his political smear campaign against Clinton to only try derail her 2016 prez. campaign with the Benghazi stuff. As for the NFL's blackouts, good for the NFL! If your city can't pack a stadium 8 days a year out of 365, you not only don't deserve to get the game on local TV, you don't deserve a NFL team! Even the lowly Jaguars have avoided blackouts by changing attendance policies, and better marketing. Plus there are hundreds of smaller cities & towns that pack stadiums every Friday and/or Saturday, so quit the crying, and go see a game, and that goes for McCain as well. I bet he doesn't go to Cardinals or Redskins games!

    1. "If your city can't pack a stadium 8 days a year out of 365, you not only don't deserve to get the game on local TV, you don't deserve a NFL team!"

      You realize that Tampa has been in that category for the last three years?

  3. Personal political diatribes have no value in this forum, try to understand and stick to the issue.