The fight over television blackouts of NFL games is on again. The league, which may be the most successful, powerful, and popular sports conglomerate in history, is lobbying Congress for some of its famous protective services. The thing comes down to the issue of whether or not games that have not been sold out should be broadcast in local markets. Just the sort of thing you sent your representative to Washington to deal with, right?
As Julian Hattem of The Hill reports, the NFL “argues the rule helps teams sell tickets and creates a compelling stadium atmosphere, allowing the NFL to keep games on free television.”
(“Free television” would be the kind with the ads that stretch a two-hour game into four hours.)
And why should Washington be getting involved? Well, because the NFL believes “the FCC’s sports blackout rule remains necessary and in the public interest.”
The NFL doesn’t really need the government’s muscle to get what it wants:
Even if the FCC did get rid of the rule, leagues like the NFL would still be able to negotiate individually with broadcasters, cable providers and satellite companies to black out some games.
But force is so much easier.