Exiting FCC Chief Proposes Ending NFL Game Broadcast Blackouts

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FCC Chief Proposes Ending NFL Game Broadcast Blackouts - DailyFinance

From the article: "The outgoing boss of the FCC has proposed putting an end to the televised football game blackouts that have bedeviled NFL fans for decades.

On Friday, Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn said that she was proposing to eliminate the Commission's blackout rules, which prohibit cable or satellite providers from carrying home games that have been blacked out on local broadcasts." ...
I don't like this proposal: if there is a losing NFL Team that has a partially empty HOME stadium game, this plan would encourage even fewer people to physically attend their games and thus, reduce the Team's income to encourage new talent to join.

I agree with the spirit of Ms. Clyburn's thoughts on getting rid of the NFL blackouts; however, I don't think we'll see them totally go away. If anything, we'll just see the threshold of tickets sold get lowered to avoid the blackout.
She is bang on the cost just being too much anymore to go to a game if you are not a hard core fan though. $XXX for nose bleed seats, when you can just wait for baseball season to take the family and get similar seats for $XX or even $X via Stub Hub if you wait until the newness of the season wears off (except for Yankees tickets which I think are equivalently jacked up as NFL seats are).


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I would like to point to the upstate NY / Buffalo Bills market where the blackout rules are a real nightmare.

Buffalo is not a big city, but has a HUGE stadium. I can't tell you the last time a game sold out. The City has a population of about 260,000 and the stadium holds about 70-80,000. Making matters worse, Buffalo is cold and snowy and the stadium is not covered.

Blackout radius is supposed to be 75 miles. Now, the really stupid part:
Wikipedia -
the Syracuse market's blackout of Buffalo Bills games (is because) because a small section of the town of Italy in Yates County containing a handful of people lies within the 75-mile radius of Ralph Wilson Stadium while the entirety of the remainder of the Syracuse market lies outside of it. Yates County was previously part of the Syracuse DMA, but it was later switched to the Rochester DMA because of exurb expansion with more and more immediate Rochester area employees living in Yates County and traveling to Rochester for events. Despite this, the league still enforces Bills blackouts for Syracuse.
The drive from Buffalo to Syracuse is about 160 miles and 2-1/2 hours. Now, Albany NY is 144 miles East of Syracuse and Watertown, NY, is about 80 miles North. You would have to get your signals from one of these 2 locations to beat a blackout area that realistically extends across the entire Western half of NY state!!

And also, (from Wikipedia)

The NFL authorized a new rule loosening the league's blackout restrictions during the 2012 offseason. For the first time in NFL history, the new rule will no longer require a stadium to be sold out to televise a game; instead, teams will be allowed to set a benchmark anywhere from 85 to 100 percent of the stadium's non-premium seats. Any seats sold beyond that benchmark will be subject to heavier revenue sharing.[SUP][5][/SUP] While most teams participate in the new blackout rules, four teams, the Buffalo Bills, the Cleveland Browns, the Indianapolis Colts, and the San Diego Chargers, retain the previous blackout rule, as the new rule would require the teams to pay a higher percentage of gate fees to the NFL's revenue fund.
I say it's about time to revoke the NFL's exemption from anti-trust laws that should have never been granted in the first place!
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