FCC spikes sports blackout rule



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WASHINGTON (AP) — The FCC wants an end to sports blackouts.

The Federal Communications Commission has voted to spike a decades-old rule preventing cable and satellite operators from airing sports events that were blacked out on local TV.

The commission says the rule was outdated and unnecessary. It was originally adopted to help boost ticket sales in the 1970s.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says NFL teams have hidden behind the rule for 40 years, but no more.

But Wheeler acknowledges it may not spell the end to sports blackouts. The NFL would still be able to privately negotiate its own rules with cable and satellite companies — those agreements just wouldn't have the backing of the federal government.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Jennifer C. Kerr

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