The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday voted unanimously to eliminate a 1975 rule that has prohibited pay-TV providers from airing NFL games and some other sports events if the tickets did not sell out at least 72 hours before the contest.
In the '70s, only 40 to 50 percent of NFL games were televised. The rest were blacked out. But in a bipartisan ruling, the FCC said Tuesday that blackout rules are not "justified in light of the significant changes in the sports industry.'
"For 40 years, these teams have hidden behind a rule of the FCC. No more,'' FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said. "It's a simple fact, the federal government should not be party to sports teams keeping their fans from viewing the games, period.''