Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The FCC lifts the blackout rule

except that the NFL has decided to keep its own "blackout rule" in place.

From ESPN:

The Federal Communications Commission voted 5-0 to eliminate its sports blackout rules Tuesday, but the NFL said that it doesn't plan to change the way its broadcasts are handled.

"NFL teams have made significant efforts in recent years to minimize blackouts," the NFL responded in a statement Tuesday. "The NFL is the only sports league that televises every one of its games on free, over-the-air television. The FCC's decision will not change that commitment for the foreseeable future."

The FCC vote eliminated rules that were implemented in 1975 to ensure that sports broadcasts would not hurt local ticket sales.

Of course this all boils down to money. Yes, there is more to be made from selling ads than leaving seats open. But because of high sell out rates, they can artificially tweak the numbers (hey, better buy tickets before we sell out, and its blacked out locally!) to maximize both. Yay for them.

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In other words, folks, don't think that this is going to change anything in how you watch the games. There will still be blackouts.


WOW! One of the Web Legends makes an appearance. Glad to here from you Curt!