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FCC may put an end to NFL's TV blackouts

The FCC is looking to stop NFL blackouts. The NFL currently prevents games from being shown locally if ticket sales are not high enough. (Al Messerschmidt/ Getty Images)

The Federal Communications Commission is looking to put an end to the NFL's blackout rules, allowing every game to be broadcast locally regardless of ticket sales, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.

The FCC is crafting a proposal that would require the NFL to show each team's games in its home market, arguing that those who cannot afford tickets should not be punished:

'Changes in the marketplace have raised questions about whether these rules are still in the public interest, particularly at a time when high ticket prices and the economy make it difficult for many sports fans to attend games,' said FCC acting chairwoman Mignon L. Clyburn.

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The NFL has yet to blackout a game in the 2013 season although it has relaxed its rules so that only 85% of non-premium seats need to be sold to avoid a blackout. The league has also allowed tickets to be sold at a deep discount to sponsors in order to avoid blackouts in some markets.

Senator John McCain of Arizona proposed a bill earlier this year that would ban blackouts of games being played in publicly funded stadiums.
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