Yesterday, Sports Fans Coalition submitted 4,155 individual comments from fans calling on the FCC to end its blackout rule. Most fans chose to use our suggested comments, but some chose to submit their own comments. You can view them all here. Below are some examples:
Frank Adams in FL:
IF THE PRO TEAM ACCEPTS PUBLIC FINANCING TO BUILD THE FACILITY TO PLAY GAMES, THUS BENEFITTING OWNERSHIP, THE COMMUNITY HAS PAID FOR THE RIGHT TO SEE THE GAMES ON TV. Dismissing all the extra “perks” often thrown into a stadium deal, such as splits on concessions, lower rents, etc, the dividing line- objectively- is if the public already subsidized the private professional team. And if they did, they can not black out the public. We already paid them and earned the right to watch the games on tv- we subsidized the stadium construction costs. Our construction subsidies costs us hundreds of millions of dollars- which pays for every ticket for every game for years and years. The tv revenues are already the major revenue source. This rule is predatory. The fact is pro sports teams do not price their product at a level that will insure a sell out crowd. There are more than enough fans who would buy tickets to sell out the game- many times over. They can’t price their product and use predatory strategies to gouge consumers above their level to afford after taking our money to build them a stadium. Please rescind this rule. DONT TAKE OUR MONEY AND It’s time to end to the Sports Blackout Rule.
Steven White in MA:
The teams get big government subsidies and are allowed to run a monopoly without being sued under anti-trust laws. The natural economic remedy to price controls and sharing the public good the team provides, i.e. not blacking out games. There’s really no argument in favor of the NFL except that we should be more concerned with the bottom line of billionaire owners than with the wants of tens of millions of Americans. I hope the FCC agrees with me that most people are more worried about the vast majority of Americans than the 32 owners.
Daniel Riffle in OH:
The sports blackout rule is in place to benefit billionaires who own professional sports teams, and it affects die-hard fans like me, who often have benefited said owner over the years through tickets and merchandise purchased. Fans and taxpayers also heavily subsidize professional sports through publicly-funded stadiums, tax breaks, anti-trust exemptions, and other benefits. Speaking for myself, I can also tell you the blackout rule is ineffective. If I can’t afford to attend the game when it’s on TV, I still can’t afford to attend when it’s not. Blacking out the game doesn’t put money in my pocket or otherwise enable me to buy tickets. Blackouts are unethical and punish fans who can’t afford the high cost of attending games or who simply want to watch their home team on TV. At the very least, the government should not be in the business of propping up sports leagues’ blackouts. Thank you!
Ronald Fox in WV:
The NFL is making more money than it needs. Soaring prices on tickets, and even merchandise in general, Television contracts and cable subscriptions to their network provide ample funds to run the business day to day. The black out rule was invented to generate more revenue to local clubs. The truth is that if a franchise puts a good product on the field, people will pay to watch. It is time to stop punishing people who love the game, but cannot afford the ticket price, or whose health will not permit them to go outside to the games, by withholding TV broadcast of the game simply because there was not a sell-out. Greed is the name of the game these days. We pay already to see the games because there is no such thing as free TV anymore. Who would have thought anyone would have to pay to watch television 30 years ago. I pay enough to earn the right to watch any game, any time. My cable bill is over 200 a month and I have the NFL network. My choice, but not for much longer. Any more silliness by the NFL to get more money from me, and I will bow out gracefully and let them have their game.