NAB: Elimination of Sports Blackout Rule Would Be Detrimental in Long Term
Agrees with coalition that eliminating rules would not force sports league to end blackout policies
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 2/28/2012 8:33:31 PM
NAB echoed its initial comments that getting rid of the FCC rule, which prevents cable operators from carrying coverage of games blacked out on broadcast TV. It said it would undermine program exclusivity, which is essential to its business model, and would speed the migration of sports to pay TV.
NAB agreed with the coalition that eliminating the rules would not force sports leagues to end blackout policies. But while the coalition said the government should not prop up the league policy, NAB said getting rid of the blackout rule would essentially prop up pay TV at the expense of local stations and viewers.
NAB took aim at the coalition for its backing by Time Warner Cable and Verizon, and argued that the subtext of the petition is to weaken retrans rules "in a manner that would favor MVPDs."
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