McDowell Statement on Sports Blackout Rule Petition
Federal Communications Commission
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D. C. 20554
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:
January 12, 2012
Brigid Calamis (202) 418-2200
STATEMENT OF FCC COMMISSIONER ROBERT M. McDOWELL
REGARDING THE MEDIA BUREAU’S REQUEST FOR COMMENT ON THE
PETITION SEEKING ELIMINATION OF THE SPORTS BLACKOUT RULEThe following statement can be attributed to Commissioner Robert M. McDowell:
“I am delighted that the Media Bureau is requesting comment on a petition seeking elimination
of the Commission’s rules that prohibit multichannel video programming distributors from
carrying a sporting event in a community if it is blacked out by the local broadcast station.
Taking a fresh look at this 36-year-old rule could be constructive as we look for rules to
streamline and modernize. Over almost four decades, the economics and structure of both the
sports and communications industries have experienced dramatic evolutions. We now live in a
world with not only local broadcast stations, but also cable, satellite, the Internet and wireless,
and where television and merchandizing revenues exceed ticket sales. It is appropriate for us to
re-examine the rule in light of marketplace changes.”