FCC moving towards ending NFL blackout rule


Sep 16, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals fans celebrates after a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals are enjoying another winning season and are currently undefeated at home in the friendly confines of Paul Brown Stadium. That’s led to them selling out every home game this year, allowing fans in the Cincinnati market to watch every home game this year.

But the reality is that streak will eventually end, whether it be next year or in five years, and once it does, fans in the Cincinnati market will be unable to watch whatever home game(s) doesn’t sell out.

Such is the case with the NFL’s Blackout Policy, but that could be changing very soon, as the Federal Communications Commission is working to end the league’s policy that requires teams to blackout their home games if they haven’t sold out.

Per NBC News:

"FCC commissioners have moved to begin collecting comments on the potential elimination of the nearly 40-year-old rule that was originally meant to ensure broadcasts of sports games did not hurt local ticket sales.The sports blackout rules have faced mounting criticism in recent years that they are outdated. A group called the Sports Fans Coalition, which received backing from Verizon and Time Warner Cable, petitioned the FCC in 2011 to end the rules and received support from several consumer interest groups.The FCC will collect public comment and will evaluate whether the rules remain in the public interest – and could eventually take them off the books. Any action is not expected until sometime next year."

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