Hartford, CT - Ahead of one of the NFL’s biggest weekends, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) today called for an end to sports blackouts. Although all three games that faced potential blackouts today cleared the threshold required to air locally, just 36 hours before the kickoff of the NFL’s first playoff weekend their fate was uncertain because of the league’s arcane viewership rules.
“As a result of the NFL’s arcane blackout rules, thousands of Colts, Packers, and Bengals fans had no idea whether they would be able to see their home team play just hours before the playoffs kicked off. Even though fans in Indianapolis, Green Bay, and Cincinnati will now be able to see their game, this uncertainty is unacceptable and unfair.
“Fans should not have to depend on a corporate white knight to buy out the stadium and enable their access. The threat of a blackout is itself both injury and insult. The NFL and other sports leagues that enforce blackout policies should not be rewarded with special regulatory status, antitrust exemptions, and taxpayer subsidies. I call on Congress to combat these anti-consumer policies by passing the FANS Act, legislation Senator McCain and I introduced that would give fans fair access to their favorite teams.”