FCC commissioner wants repeal of NFL blackout rule

Wednesday August 13th, 2014

A commissioner for the Federal Communications Commission says the National Football League’s blackout rule should be repealed.

The rule, which requires home teams to blackout games in the local market if the team doesn’t sellout its home games, has been in place for nearly 40 years. Teams can ask for a 24-hour extension to try to sell out games. 

"The time has come for the FCC to repeal its sports blackout rule," Ajit Pai said. "Why do I say that? After carefully reviewing all of the arguments, I don't believe the government should intervene in the marketplace and help sports leagues enforce their blackout policies.”

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Pai spoke to a crowd in Buffalo and said he will ask other commissioners to vote on ending the blackout rule.

"Right now, the FCC is officially on the side of blackouts. We should be on the side of sports fans," Pai said.

The San Diego Chargers and the Buffalo Bills were the only two teams to blackout games last season.  Since 2009, nine NFL teams have had to blackout games.

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