Dec 2, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; A FOX Sports tv camera following the game between the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The Packers defeated the Vikings 23-14. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

FCC proposes ending sports television blackouts

One of the worst parts of sports is the television black out rule when a home game is not sold out. The NFL has enforced a home blackout rule because they think broadcasting home market games without requiring a sellout would influence ticket sales.

The FCC is considering changing a 1973 amendment to the Communications Act that helped shape the black out.

From the FCC:

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. In this proceeding, we will determine whether the sports blackout rules have become outdated due to marketplace changes since their adoption, and whether modification or elimination of those rules is appropriate.

We recognize that elimination of our sports blackout rules alone might not end sports blackouts, but it would leave sports carriage issues to private solutions negotiated by the interested parties in light of current market conditions and eliminate unnecessary regulation.

It would be nice to see, especially for markets where the economy hasn’t quite bounced back yet. The first black out of the NFL season didn’t come till December.

Tags: NFL

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