Dear FCC: Please don't let me watch football
- 18 June, 2014 03:02
I can understand why millionaire NFL team owners would lobby the FCC in an effort to dissuade that regulatory body from ditching its so-called "TV blackout rule." After all, the rule requires that 85% of an NFL team's ridiculously priced "non-premium" seats be sold or a game cannot be shown on TV (free or otherwise).
Who wouldn't want to protect such a sweet racket?
What I don't understand is how these millionaire NFL team owners could envision me a lifelong fan and former season-ticket holder getting behind this effort to convince the FCC to continue playing a role in stopping me from watching football.
And yet we have this website, apparently the work of the NFL, called "Protect Football on Free TV." (It's fairly new so I'm leaving open the possibility that it's a parody or one of those "let's fool the journalists" gags.)
The site urges me and all football fans to "take action!"
Take action to "protect football on free TV" by threatening fans who cannot afford tickets with the prospect of not seeing their favorite team's games on any kind of TV ... per the full regulatory might of the federal government.
The site says this is all for our common good and helpfully provides the "top three facts fans need to know:"
1. NFL games remain on FREE broadcast television because of the FCC's sports blackout rule which has been working for nearly four decades.
Clarification: By "sports blackout rule" they mean NFL blackout rule and televised games are FREE for all 132 fans who still receive their television signals over the air; the rest of us pay for cable and watch a minute of commercials for every three minutes of football game.
2. While every other professional sport has moved to pay services like cable or satellite, the NFL makes every regular-season and playoff game available to you for FREE.
Clarification: Except when it doesn't, which is the exact circumstance the millionaire NFL owners are asking you to tell the FCC that you not only like just fine but demand they leave intact.
3. The rule promotes strong stadium attendance and benefits local restaurants, sports bars, and other small businesses near the stadiums.