The NFL’s longstanding policy of refusing to broadcast games in the home team’s TV market unless the games have sold out 72 hours in advance has come under attack once again, this time from five U.S. Senators who wrote a letter to the Federal Communications Commission urging an end to blackouts.
The letter (available in PDF form here) was signed by senators Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey and Sherrod Brown of Ohio.
“These blackouts are ruining the experience of rooting for the home team and are unjustly hurting fans,” the senators wrote. “That many of these stadiums were constructed or remodeled using taxpayer dollars underscores the disservice done to fans by blackouts.”
There were 16 blackouts in 256 regular-season games last season, including six in Cincinnati. The NFL has been adamant that its blackout policy needs to remain in place.