The NFL TV blackout policy states that for a game to be shown in the team’s local market. There were 16 blackouts in 2011.
Yesterday the Federal Communications Commission had started seeking public comment on eliminating its own rule.
Following is Commissioner McDowell’s statement:
“I am delighted that the Media Bureau is requesting comment on a petition seeking elimination of the Commission’s rules that prohibit multichannel video programming distributors from carrying a sporting event in a community if it is blacked out by the local broadcast station. Taking a fresh look at this 36-year-old rule could be constructive as we look for rules to streamline and modernize. Over almost four decades, the economics and structure of both the sports and communications industries have experienced dramatic evolutions. We now live in a world with not only local broadcast stations, but also cable, satellite, the Internet and wireless, and where television and merchandizing revenues exceed ticket sales. It is appropriate for us to re-examine the rule in light of marketplace changes.”