FCC considering lifting cable and satellite sports blackout rule
Fans could soon be able to watch games on cable and satellite that have been blocked out on broadcast because the contests did not sell out. Federal Communications Commission is soliciting public comment on the possibility of striking down sports blackout rules for cable and satellite companies, following a request in November from an advocacy group to do away with the rule. The restriction has long been advocated by professional sports leagues, because it gives greater incentive to fans to buy tickets to events they couldn’t otherwise see on television. The leagues also argue that if the blackouts are removed, cable and satellite companies will gain leverage over broadcasters in retransmission rights negotiations. Broadcasters have been barred from showing contests that do not sell out since 1961, and the FCC added cable and broadcast to that rule years later at the behest of the NFL.
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