The Sports Fan Coalition, which has asked the FCC to scrap
its sports blackout rule as outmoded and fan-unfriendly, is honoring six
legislators and one FCC commissioner for "standing up for fans."
That is coming at a Capitol Hill reception Tuesday night.
The recipients of the MVP awards for 2012 are Commissioner
Robert McDowell, Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio),
and Reps. Joe Barton (R-Texas), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Steve Scalise (R-La.)
and Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.).
McDowell is getting the shout-out for his statement when the
FCC decided to open a proceeding reviewing the blackout rule. "He said it
was long past time to reexamine the sports blackout rule," says Sports Fan
executive director Brian Frederick.
Brown and Blumenthal called on the Federal Communications
Commission to reform its blackout rules and wrote to the NFL top express their
concerns, as did Higgins, according to the coalition. Scalise introduced
legislation to eliminate the rule. Barton and Cohen formed the Congressional
Collegiate Sports Caucus to examine college sports, particularly the way a
national champion is selected. Barton has also introduced legislation and
sought hearings, says the coalition.