Breaking News>>> FCC dumps NFL No-Sellout/Blackout Rules
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday voted unanimously to eliminate a decades-old rule that has prohibited pay-TV providers from airing some home sports games, such as NFL football, if tickets to those games did not sell out.
In a bipartisan 5-0 vote, the FCC did away with a 1975 sports blackout rule that has been backed by the broadcasters and the National Football League but in recent years has faced mounting criticism that it was outdated.
Originally meant to ensure that television broadcasts of sports games did not hurt local ticket sales, the policy has banned cable and satellite providers from carrying sports games in their home markets if a league or a team requires that all or most of the tickets be sold before the game can be shown on TV.
Sports leagues such as the NFL, broadcasters and cable and satellite companies can still privately negotiate blackout agreements. The FCC has said it is often such private agreements, and not the commission’s rules, that prompt home game blackouts.