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September 30, 2014

Good Riddance, FCC Blackout Rules

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This morning the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to eliminate its sports blackout rule, which helped the NFL justify blacking out the broadcast of NFL games that were not sold out.

The blackout rule was always a case of the FCC getting government involved in the business model of a company/league, which is always a mistake. Policy and business models should never be confused. Government sets policy, and then people go out and create business models. Government should not be creating or distorting or assisting anyone's business model.

The NFL strongly lobbied against the FCC's rule change, because the NFL liked being able to blame it on the FCC. The FCC was in bed with the NFL on this one.

Now, I could care less whether the NFL continues to blackout games that don't sell out--that's their business and their business model, and it's between them and their customers. But the FCC should never have been involved, and especially should never have gotten between the NFL and its customers.

So a rare good call by the current FCC. Now if we could only get the FCC to stay out of a bunch of OTHER business models . . .

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