The FCC Wants to Eliminate Sports Blackout Restrictions

NFLLast month, the FCC sent out a proposal that would investigate whether or not the commission could dismantle its 40-year-old sports broadcast blackout rules, and now it has publicly released its full notice of proposed rulemaking. In it, the FCC says that it officially wants to eliminate its sports blackout restrictions. In its investigation, the FCC discovered that “television revenues have replaced gate receipts as the most significant source of revenue for NFL clubs” in the years since its blackout rules went into effect. The FCC’s blackouts only block national cable and satellite networks from showing a sporting event that’s been blacked out on local broadcast stations — a situation that used to be more commonplace. The NFL’s own rules prohibit local broadcasters from carrying a game that hasn’t been completely sold out at least 72 hours before kickoff.

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