Report: NFL opposes FCC proposal that could affect wireless mics


The New York Times has a fascinating story on how the Federal Communication Commission’s proposal to auction off airwave space utilized by wireless microphone users is drawing pushback from numerous groups — including the NFL.

“Despite NFL’s best efforts to manage its wireless microphones on its increasingly scarce spectrum, NFL has received numerous recent reports of wireless microphone interference during games, rendering coaches unable to communicate plays to their quarterbacks and referees unable to consult one another on calls,” the league wrote to the FCC, according to the Times.

As the story notes, wireless communication is very important to the league, with teams using the technology throughout games. Also, referees utilize such mics to convey their calls.

The Times reports that mobile-phone carriers would be a primary purchaser and consumer of the unregulated space now used by wireless mics.

According to the paper, the Broadway League, the trade association for Broadway’s theater community, also opposes the FCC’s plans, citing the risk of interference because of the reduced space in which wireless mics would operate.

13 responses to “Report: NFL opposes FCC proposal that could affect wireless mics

  1. I don’t have enough background here to speak intelligently about this issue, but I think the league should be operating its own secured network instead of relaying upon the public airwaves. That’s just cheap.

  2. Well, at least one of the first four commenters knows enough to know he’s ignorant on the subject, as the second part of his sentence proves. Apparently the rest have forgotten the old saying……..
    “Better to keep your mouth shut and look like a fool, than open it and remove all doubt.”

  3. Does this mean we will have to listen to a 30 sec ad before the ref can announce his call? I think this will slow down the game.

  4. @nineroutsider: To buy enough frequencies for its purposes in all of the cities that the NFL plays games would result in a price tag of several billion dollars. Considering that all 32 teams made a combined profit of $979 million last year, that’s a little out of their price range.

  5. The last time the government decided to auction off UHF frequencies, tons of companies had to replace equipment that was made illegal to operate just so some wireless companies could expand spectrum while further gouging consumers.

    These frequencies are currently free to broadcast on, but if they’re auctioned off, whomever is the highest bidder now owns that portion and no one else can use it anymore.

    You don’t realize what a complete pain in the ass it is to wake up one day and find that your $1000 microphone transmitters are now illegal to operate, illegal to sell to anyone else and must be destroyed and replaced with new models.

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