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McDowell Statement on Sports Blackout Rule Petition

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Released: January 13, 2012

NEWS
Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Washington, D. C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

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 RULE

The 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.”

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