September 30, 2014

Blackout Repeal Heads in the Right Direction

Brent Skorup

Senior Research Fellow
Summary

Today’s announcement that the Federal Communication Commission is ending its sports blackout rule after nearly 40 years is a step in the right direction, according to Brent Skorup, a research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Skorup says that overturning these rules will make media companies freer to respond to consumer demands and changing viewing technologies.

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Today’s announcement that the Federal Communication Commission is ending its sports blackout rule after nearly 40 years is a step in the right direction, according to Brent Skorup, a research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.  Skorup says that overturning these rules will  make media companies freer to respond to consumer demands and changing viewing technologies.

“After today’s rule repeal goes into effect, sports blackouts will occur only when the leagues and networks believe a blackout makes business sense—not because the government says certain games must be withheld from consumers,” said Skorup. 

“Hopefully the FCC won’t stop with the repeal of sports blackout rules. Many more TV regulations are designed for the rabbit-ears antenna era and harm consumers who live in an entertainment world of hundreds of TV channels, online video from sources like Netflix and YouTube, and access to television nearly anywhere from smartphones and tablets. The thriving marketplace for media content and distribution—not government mandates like the sports blackout rule—should determine when and how Americans watch television.”