U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, is pushing for legislation to change NFL's blackout policy he says is "no longer logical in today's marketplace."
The NFL's policy is that home teams need to sell out their game tickets to avoid a blackout in their local TV market. The blackout rule originally was meant to spur fans to attend games.
McCain announced Friday that he, along with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT, introduced legislation aimed at leveling the playing field among professional leagues, broadcasters and sports fans.
"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. The fact is that the NFL in particular enjoys numerous benefits paid for by tax-paying consumers, through antitrust exemptions, tax exemptions and publicly-financed stadium construction. Consumers should be the beneficiaries of these arrangements, yet this episode shows that is not the case. The original aim of the league's blackout policy is no longer logical in today's marketplace. For these reasons, I, along with Senator Richard Blumenthal, recently introduced legislation aimed at leveling the playing-field among professional leagues, broadcasters and sports fans. With this week's near-blackouts in three NFL cities, I renew my call for that bill's full, fair and timely consideration in the Senate."
The Arizona Cardinals have sold out all 83 home games since moving to University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale in 2006.
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