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Blumenthal Statement On FCC Vote To End Federal Sports Blackout Rule

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) today released the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously to eliminate the federal sports blackout rule. 

“The sports blackout rule unfairly harms consumers by punishing fans in cities with large stadiums and declining populations,” said Senator Blumenthal. “The FCC did the right thing today by removing this antiquated rule, which is no longer justified by facts or simple logic. Even as the NFL made millions upon millions of dollars off of broadcasting rights, they continued as recently as this season to threaten fans with unnecessary blackout restrictions. Today the FCC officially threw a flag on the NFL’s anti-fan blackout policy.”

Blumenthal and Higgins – along with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) – introduced the Furthering Access and Networks for Sports (FANS) Act of 2013 – complementary legislation that would remove the NFL’s antitrust exemptions, unless the league ends its practice of requiring broadcasters to blackout games that don’t sell out.