Blumenthal hails FCC consideration of sports blackout rules

Washington — Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and John McCain, R-Ariz., hailed Wednesday’s decision by the Federal Communications Commission to consider a proposal to eliminate 40-year-old sports blackout rules that prohibit cable and satellite providers from carrying a game if it is blacked out on television due to insufficient ticket sales.

“The FCC’s action today is a tremendously positive step forward for consumers and sports fans,” Blumenthal said in a joint statement with McCain. “Existing blackout policies quite literally leave fans in the dark, and leagues or programmers that enforce them should not be rewarded with special regulatory status, antitrust exemptions, or taxpayer subsidies.”

Last month, Blumenthal and McCain introduced the Furthering Access and Networks for Sports (FANS) Act of 2013 that would end blackout rules.

ESPN, headquartered in Bristol, would be among the cable networks that would benefit from the rules change.

 

 

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