FCC Repeals Sports Blackout Rule, Challenges NFL to Stop Screwing Over Fans
Some excellent news for NFL fans from Jon Brodkin.
The Federal Communications Commission today unanimously voted to eliminate its sports blackout rules, challenging the National Football League to end its own policies that sometimes prevent fans from watching home games on TV.
“Today’s FCC action makes clear: if leagues want to mistreat fans, they will have to do so without Uncle Sam’s help,” said David Goodfriend, an attorney and lobbyist who founded a group called the Sports Fans Coalition that fought against the rules.
NFL broadcasts are blacked out in local markets when games are not sold out. The NFL in 2012 relaxed the rules by letting individual teams reduce the likelihood of a blackout by only requiring that 85 percent of tickets be sold. But the policies have persisted for decades with support from the federal government.