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FCC proposes ending TV blackout rules

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The FCC is thinking about ending blackout rules, which would be a massive shift in the sports TV landscape.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The sports TV landscape might see a huge shift in the near future. The United States Federal Communications Commission has proposed to end blackout rules, according to Bloomberg:

The blackout rules have long been maligned by sports fans. The rules prevent cable and satellite broadcasters from televising live sporting events that don't have a sellout crowd. It was created 40 years ago to encourage live attendance, but has faced mounting criticism in the modern era. Sports fans have more options than ever to watch games from their home with services like NFL Sunday Ticket and MLB.TV.

To end the rules, the FCC would require a vote by the agency after a period of public comments. It's unknown when or if the vote will take place. The NFL still supports blackout rules and argues that eliminating them would "undermine the retransmission-consent regime and give cable and satellite operators excessive leverage in retransmission-consent negotiations."

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