"The sports blackout rules were originally adopted nearly 40 years ago when game ticket sales were the main source of revenue for sports leagues...," the FCC said. "Changes in the sports industry in the last four decades have called into question whether the sports blackout rules remain necessary to ensure the overall availability of sports programming to the general public."The NFL pledged to fight any change in the rules, pointing to recent rule-changes as evidence. Only one game out of 224 this year (Bengals at Chargers, Dec. 1) has been blacked out, although the Bills could make it a second this weekend. According to USA Today, 50% of the 210 games were blacked out in 1978.
Even if the government eliminates its rule, nothing would preclude leagues, networks and cable outlets from agreeing to their own deals that would include a blackout rule, either matching the current structure or agreeing to a revised one.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
FCC Moves Forward with Blackout Ban
According to USA Today (owned by the same company I work for), the FCC voted in favor of a proposal to eliminate blackouts: