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FCC Ends 40-Year-Old Sports Blackout Rules

FCC

Federal officials killed the nearly 40-year-old rules Tuesday that kept some football fans from watching local teams on TV when stadiums don’t sell out. “It’s a simple fact the federal government should not be party to sports teams keeping their fans from viewing the game,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said on Tuesday, adding that team owners have hidden behind federal rules for long enough. “It is the leagues that control whether sports fans can watch the games they want to watch. If there are blackouts next weekend or Monday night or Thursday night … it will be the decision of the league and its team owners, without the participation of the federal government.” Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said the agency’s “archaic sports blackout policies” made more sense 40 years ago, when team owners made much of their revenue from ticket and concession sales.

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Shelly Palmer is the host of Fox Television’s "Shelly Palmer Digital Living" television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.