U.S. FCC proposes eliminating sports blackout rule

WASHINGTON Fri Nov 1, 2013 4:07pm EDT

WASHINGTON Nov 1 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is proposing to eliminate a nearly 40-year-old rule governing "sports blackouts," when an event that was scheduled to be televised is not aired in a particular media market.

The blackouts can prevent transmission of sports programming on local broadcast networks, such as when the local stadium did not sell out.

"Changes in the marketplace have raised questions about whether these rules are still in the public interest, particularly at a time when high ticket prices and the economy make it difficult for many sports fans to attend games," acting FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn said in a statement.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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