Florida legislator trying to end NFL TV blackouts in his state

Shutdown Corner

If you live in an NFL market where games aren't typically sold out, you're very familiar with the NFL's ridiculous television blackout rules. If a game isn't sold out within three days of kickoff, it will not be on local television, and if you're interested in the local Buccaneers game (for example), you will be glued to a radio, and hey, have fun pretending that it's 1943.

A state senator in Florida, hero that he is, wants to end that policy, at least in his state. From WJRR.com:

Republican State Sen. Mike Fasano of New Port Richey filed a bill (SB 836) Friday requiring Florida's three National Football League teams to televise all home games whether they're sold out or not. The NFL franchises are in Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa. The proposal applies to any teams using facilities that receive tax dollars.

Fasano says that it's unconscionable for franchises that receive millions of tax dollars from the state to deny fans the opportunity to see their favorite teams — especially in a weak economy.

The "our tax dollars are funding this thing, let us watch" argument sounds good, but I'd support just about any line of reasoning that ended the blackout rules. Make it a free speech issue, say that the terrorists don't want us to watch local football, say that it will create more jobs within the television repair industry, I don't care. I'll get behind it.

I remain skeptical, though. Bless his heart, but I don't know if a lone (state) senator in Florida can make this happen. The NFL's blackout rules have stood up in court since 1973, and certainly, the NFL has a lot of political power of its own. I'm not expecting a tremendous amount of progress here.

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