Here are FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell’s comments on the FCC’s decision to review its sports blackout rule:
“I am delighted that the Media Bureau is requesting comment on a petition seeking elimination of the Commission’s rules that prohibit multichannel video programming distributors from carrying a sporting event in a community if it is blacked out by the local broadcast station. Taking a fresh look at this 36-year-old rule could be constructive as we look for rules to streamline and modernize. Over almost four decades, the economics and structure of both the sports and communications industries have experienced dramatic evolutions. We now live in a world with not only local broadcast stations, but also cable, satellite, the Internet and wireless, and where television and merchandizing revenues exceed ticket sales. It is appropriate for us to re-examine the rule in light of marketplace changes.”
Exactly. We’re glad Commissioner McDowell, the other commissioners and all the other fine folks at the FCC can see the need for a “fresh look” at what we believe to be an unnecessary and anti-fan blackout rule.