Latest Sports Scores

Scoreboard

  • ALL
  • NBA
  • NFL
  • NHL
  • NFL
  • Final
    GB21
    ATL44
  • Final
    PIT17
    NE36
  • NBA
  • 1/24 7:00 PM EST
    CHI0
    ORL0
  • 1/24 7:00 PM EST
    SA0
    TOR0
  • 1/24 7:00 PM EST
    BOS0
    WAS0
  • 1/24 7:00 PM EST
    LAC0
    PHI0
  • 1/24 9:00 PM EST
    UTA0
    DEN0
  • 1/24 9:00 PM EST
    MIN0
    PHO0
  • NHL
  • 1/24 7:00 PM EST
    CBJ0
    NYI0
  • 1/24 7:00 PM EST
    STL0
    PIT0
  • 1/24 7:00 PM EST
    LA0
    NJ0
  • 1/24 7:00 PM EST
    DET0
    BOS0
  • 1/24 7:30 PM EST
    CGY0
    MTL0
  • 1/24 7:30 PM EST
    WSH0
    OTT0
  • 1/24 8:00 PM EST
    SJ0
    WPG0
  • 1/24 8:00 PM EST
    BUF0
    NSH0
  • 1/24 8:30 PM EST
    MIN0
    DAL0
  • 1/24 8:30 PM EST
    TB0
    CHI0

FCC votes to overturn blackout rules barring poorly-attended games from television

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
1 PHOTOS
Best primetime NFL games
See Gallery
FCC votes to overturn blackout rules barring poorly-attended games from television
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE


By RYAN GORMAN

The Federal Communications Commission has voted to strike down hated sports blackouts.

FCC commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to repeal the rules that allowed sports leagues, mainly the NFL, to bar regions from watching their home teams on television if games did not sell out.

The decades-old statute barred sparsely attended games from being broadcast on networks such as ABC, CBS, Fox or NBC. It also stopped cable and satellite providers from showing the games in those markets.

"Today we are blowing the whistle on an anti-fan practice," FCC chairman Tom Wheeler wrote in a September 9 editorial in USA Today. "The NFL should no longer be able to hide behind government rules that punish loyal fans."

Fans of losing teams have long hated the rule for forcing them to watch teams they had no rooting interest in as opposed to their beloved losers.

The NFL, which shows one to two games a week on paid cable channels like ESPN and the NFL Network, warned in the days leading up to the vote that repealing the rule would result in more games moving from broadcast television, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

This ominous warning came despite the NFL perennially ranking as the highest-rated sport on television and raking in lucrative revenues that other sports can't even fathom earning.

The rule was originally voted into place in 1975 as fans attended less sporting events and teams began to suffer financially. But that is no longer the case.

"The NFL no longer needs the governments help to remain viable," Wheeler continued. "And we at the FCC shouldn't be complicit in preventing sports fans from watching their favorite teams on TV. It's time to sack the sports blackout rules for good."

Wheeler contends that about 40 percent of games failed to sell out when the rule was voted into place. Every single game sold out last weekend. Only two games were blacked out last season.

The league can still write blackout rules into broadcast rights contracts with networks, according to the Washington Post, but broadcast bans are no longer the law of the land.

FCC to Vote on 40-Year-Old NFL Blackout Rule
Related links:
Week 5 NFL power rankings
NFL says Abdullah should not have been penalized
Best moments from Sunday's NFL games
Read Full Story

From Our Partners