Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is mixing politics and pigskin, calling on the Federal Communications Commission today to eliminate the sports blackout rule.
The rule, established in the 1970s, lets the NFL black out television broadcasts of games that do not sell a set minimum number of tickets.
The FCC, in a spinoff rule, requires cable and satellite channels to also black out games that local broadcasters can’t show due to league rules. Early in 2012, the FCC sought public comment on a petition insisting the agency change its policy. At the beginning of November, then-FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn circulated a “notice of proposed rulemaking” proposing the elimination of the FCC’s blackout rule.
“The FCC should do the right thing and eliminate the NFL’s antiquated blackout rule,” Brown said in the statement. “Even though the NFL is the world’s most profitable sports league, every year it imposes blackouts to increase profits at the expense of loyal fans. This is unacceptable at a time when the price of attending games continues to rise and the economy is not yet where it needs to be.”
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