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Chairmnan Response Regarding Sports Blackout Rules

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Released: July 1, 2014
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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS

COMMISSION

WASHINGTO N

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June 17, 2014

The Honorable John McCain

United States Senate

241 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator McCain:

Thank you for your letter expressing your views on the Commission's pending

proceeding regarding the sports blackout rule. I appreciate your long-standing interest in this

ISSUe.

As you indicate, the Commission proposed to eliminate the sports blackout rules in

December 2013. In addition to assessing whether there is still a need for the rules, we also

sought comment on our authority to eliminate, as well as the impact of such action. As you are

aware, the Commission has acknowledged that repeal of the FCC's rules alone may not end

blackouts, but it would leave carriage issues to privately negotiated arrangements. Comment

periods ended in March, and the Bureau staff is reviewing the record developed.

I share your desire for a quick resolution to this pending proceeding. I have asked the

Media Bureau staff to complete their review and to provide recommendations for the full

Commission's consideration by early fall.

:;i;;Jz~~-

Tom Wheeler

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