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John McCain leads drive to end "Blackout Rule"

Discussion in 'Sports' started by NuttyJim, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. NuttyJim

    NuttyJim Registered User

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    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/201...ackout-nfl-games-targets-publically-financed/
    McCain leads drive to end blackout of NFL games, targets publically financed stadiums

    Published July 13, 2013
    FoxNews.com

    Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain is taking the field against a long-standing federal regulation that blocks NFL fans from seeing televised, hometown games when their stadium doesn’t sell out.
    McCain rolled out his game plan in May, as part of a larger Senate bill [​IMG]to allow pay-TV viewers to pick and choose channels instead of being forced to purchases them in typically more-expensive packages.
    The blackout rule, adopted by the National Football League in 1975, essentially blocks local TV stations from broadcasting games in home markets if the stadium is not sold out 72 hours before kickoff and prevents cable and satellite providers from carrying the games.

    However, the rule can be traced to a 1961 antitrust law that allows the league to negotiate billions of dollars worth of TV contracts for its teams.

    McCain followed his legislation with a letter [​IMG]last month to the Federal Communication Commission that urges the agency to make a final decision on the so-called Sports Blackout Rule, following a year of agency fact gathering “to determine whether the rule remains in the public interest.”

    The June 19 letter to acting agency Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn states the fact-finding effort already includes legal arguments, a “white paper” by sports economists and thousands of comments from fans across the country.

    It also lays out a range of options -- from keeping or ending the rule to changing its guidelines. And it argues the agency has plenty of authority to act without help from Congress.

    “With so much detailed information on the record from such a wide range of stakeholders, it is time for the commission to take the next logical step … ,” reads the letter, cosigned by Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

    The blackout rule was modified last year when the NFL allowed each of its 32 teams to decide whether to allow locals broadcasts when their stadiums are at least 85 percent full -- a move to help such struggling franchises as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the San Diego Chargers.

    McCain’s primary argument is that fans shouldn’t be blocked from viewing games in stadiums that they subsidized through state and local taxes.

    “Now, if that stadium is not taxpayer-financed, then that owner can do anything they want to. But if the taxpayers paid for them then, by God, I think the taxpayers ought to be able to see the game whether they sell out the stadium or not," “McCain testified during a May 14 Senate subcommittee hearing, according to the St. Paul Pioneer-Press.

    He has strong support from the Washington-based interest group Sports Fans Coalition, which also argues stadiums are built with the help of billions in tax dollars. So either broadcast all of the games or make tickets more affordable.

    “HUGE! McCain introduces legislation prohibiting TV blackouts in stadiums built with public money,” the group wrote on its website this spring.

    Officials for the hugely profitable league argue the sellout rule helps pays the bills through ticket sales because fans would otherwise watch from home. They also say filling the seats has cut the blackout rate from 56 percent in 1977 to 6 percent last year.

    Any proposed, large-scale change would almost certainly face a strong challenge from the league and the National Association of Broadcasters’ powerful and deep-pocketed lobbying efforts.
    They collectively spent at least $15.9 million on lobbying last year, according to OpenSecrets.org.
    “It’s nothing short of a Washington miracle that we’ve gotten this far,” coalition Chairman David Goodfriend, a former Dish Network executive, told the Pioneer-Press.
     
  2. whiskeyguy

    whiskeyguy PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.

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    They use to blackout 49ers games for us, which was fucking ridiculous. The stadium is like 250 miles away.

    I kind of like it. If you want to/can go to a game, you'll go.
     
  3. Absolutely

    Absolutely Self-Heavy

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    Granted my experience is in a shitty cookie-cutter dome, with terrible teams lately, but you couldn't give me a free NFL ticket.

    HD in the recliner, with Redzone as secondary channel.
    Maybe if it were GB or New England, outdoor, fun environment, winning team, etc. Maybe

    It's like a vicious-circle thing though.
    People don't go b/c it's expensive and your team/stadium sucks, They're not on TV and they suck, you don't watch and lose interest in the team.
     
  4. Hog's Big Ben

    Hog's Big Ben Getting ass-***** in The Octagon, brother.
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    This, this, x1000 this.

    The only NFL game I've ever seen in person was a preseason game in St. Louis against the Raiders. I got to see Trent Green and at-the-time nobody Kurt Warner on scoring drives. I had a 60" TV back then, and holy shit did I miss it in the stadium. Baseball is WAY more suited for being there.

    Apparently Al Davis was in a box somewhere close to our seats, because the drunker the guys behind us got, the louder and more vulgar their taunts became (the Rams won). It was rather amusing.


    Bonus anecdote: The Rams spent their first four years in St. Louis getting a progressively worse and worse record each season. They were 4-12 in 1998. Domino's Pizza, figuring they could drum up some business on the backs of the still-popular-due-to-their newness Rams, started a "Dollar Off Per Touchdown" campaign the next year. Down goes Trent Green in the preseason, and thus then begins Kurt Warner's Greatest Show on Turf and a 13-3 season that led to a Super Bowl victory. People were literally lining up outside the store to get their (still overpriced) $2 and $3 pizzas.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Norm Stansfield

    Norm Stansfield 私は亀が好きだ。

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    Yay, John McCain gonna give us a better deal on our cable. Thanks, John McCain, you're the best. I'm sure there will be no unintended consequences to this political directive. Just good things, all around, that's usually how it works out.
     
  6. Norm Stansfield

    Norm Stansfield 私は亀が好きだ。

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    Makes sense to me. Private property no longer matters, because some politician bought some votes 20 years ago by pitching into the stadium. Never mind the fact that the franchise since probably paid it back 10 times, in taxes on everything they do or sell at that stadium.
     
  7. weeniewawa

    weeniewawa it's a man, baby!!!

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    I have a great idea, let's get John MacCain to be the commissioner of the NFL

    I hate footsball and it would get him out of the senate
     
  8. Absolutely

    Absolutely Self-Heavy

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    That's funny... I worked at Dominos that year. I did phones, ovens, register, etc
    I was too young to deliver pizza.

    But yeah, there were Mondays where the pizza was $1 and $2. And like you said, it was a madhouse(!). People were willing to wait 2-3 hours for pizzas, or there were people placing timed orders at like 2pm to pick up at 6pm.
    And of course nothing was ready, nothing was right, nobody was happy. Mondays were the worst.
     
  9. Hog's Big Ben

    Hog's Big Ben Getting ass-***** in The Octagon, brother.
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    Why to never trust Wikipedia: So I'm curious about the score of this game, and I check Wikipedia. Turns out the Rams lost, but wiki has the date and stadium wrong. They claim it was the nationally televised Hall of Fame game in Canton. Ummm...no. And yeah, I'm too lazy to fix it. That shit was in a table. Looks complicated.
     
  10. Douche McGee

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    Why does the government have any say-so in this at all?
     
    Lord Zero and madmaxey like this.
  11. madmaxey

    madmaxey T.F.W.O.

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    I was thinking the exact same thing
     
  12. Wrecktum

    Wrecktum Tounge puncher of fart boxes

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    I'm glad they figured out all the other issues like unemployment, immigration, Obama still being in office....
     
  13. gleet

    gleet What's black and white and red all over?

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    I'd bet they claim interstate commerce or FCC or Mann Act.
     

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