A federal lobbying group that targets television blackouts — especially NFL games — will file a petition with the FCC to end the rule, reports Politico.com.
The Sports Fan Coalition will work in conjunction with the National Consumers League, Public Knowledge, Media Access Project and the League of Fans to ask the FCC to end the blackout rule that allows the blocking of locally broadcast games if there’s no sellout within a few days of the kickoff.
Brian Frederick, the Sports Fans Coalition’s executive director, told Politico: “It’s a totally outdated and unnecessary government regulation, and if leagues want their stadiums filled, then they shouldn’t charge so much for tickets. The public supports the construction of stadiums with tax money. As long as you are asking the public to support your business, you should return the favor to the public.”
Frederick anticipates that the National Football League will fight to keep the blackout rule intact. A spokesman for the NFL, Dan Masonson, told Politico: “The NFL blackout policy strikes a balance between encouraging fans to attend games and allowing the games to continue to be broadcast on free television. The NFL is the only sports league that broadcasts all of its regular-season and playoff games on free television. At least three games are shown in every NFL market each Sunday during the season.”