“Look for an FCC vote on eliminating the sports blackout rule within the next two or three months,” John Eggerton reports for Multichannel News. “hat was the signal from FCC chairman Tom Wheeler to Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) in a June 17 letter, according to a copy supplied to Multichannel News. Blumenthal, along with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), has led the Hill charge to get the rule off the books.”
“In a letter to Wheeler June 4, Blumenthal and McCain had pushed for a vote, saying “‘Now that the comment deadline has long passed [it was in March], we urge the Commission to move forward expeditiously on eliminating the sports blackout rule (SBR),'” Eggerton reports. “The rule prevents cable and satellite operators from carrying games blacked out on local broadcast TV due to league contracts protecting stadium ticket sales. Eliminating the rule would not eliminate contractual blackouts, but would remove the FCC backstop.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Blackout restrictions deserve to die. What’s the point of team owners penalizing their team’s fans – most of whom are local, but will not ever pay to go to the stadium, much less for $15 beers – and penalizing their team’s advertisers (who cannot reach local, blacked-out fans) in this day and age? Spite? Stupidity? Both?