McCain pushes anti-blackout legislation

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) continues to push for legislation that will remove the anti-trust exemption for any sports league that doesn't prohibit or limit sports blackouts in their video contracts, including during retransmission consent negotiations.

The Arizona senator made a renewed pledge to push his proposed legislation--"Furthering Access and Networks for Sports (FANS) Act"--after three threatened blackouts were resolved on Jan. 3 after businesses bought up the remaining tickets, Multichannel News reports.

The NFL currently prevents TV broadcasts of any game not sold out 72 hours before game time. McCain said the football league already benefits from anti-trust exemptions, tax exemptions and publicly-funded stadiums so consumers should not be penalized if a game isn't sold out.

"The original aim of the league's blackout policy is no longer logical in today's marketplace," McCain said.  "The potential local television blackout of NFL playoff games this weekend in Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Green Bay--only narrowly averted, according to news reports--should serve as an example to all sports fans of how poorly many rules and regulations are serving consumers and taxpayers today."

For more:
- Multichannel News has this story

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