FCC to reconsider NFL blackout rule for non-sellouts

News

FCC to reconsider NFL blackout rule for non-sellouts

Cincinnati Business Courier – The Federal Communications Commission plans to reconsider its blackout rule that allows the NFL to prohibit local TV broadcasts of games that do not sell out, according to U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.

The Ohio Democrat earlier this year had asked the NFL to halt the blackout policy. His request was partly prompted by the Cincinnati Bengals, who failed to sell out six of their eight regular-season home games this season, meaning those games could not be broadcast on local television. Such blackouts and the lack of ticket sales that cause them cost the team and local TV stations millions of dollars.

Brown’s office said his urging prompted the FCC to say it will release a petition aimed at opening the sports blackout rule for public feedback. That’s the first move in the process to overturn the regulation.

The NFL had 16 blackouts this season, down from 26 in 2010.

“We are one step closer to ending the blackout rule,” Brown said in a news release. “Today, the FCC announced that it would begin taking public comment on the blackout rule, an outdated rule which is unfair to the teams, the fans, and especially the taxpayers. Although the Bengals season ended last week, I’ll keep fighting to repeal the blackout rule.”

Read the whole article »