February 14, 2002
8:53 PM   Subscribe

Washington State house members voted today to end the TV blackouts imposed on local Seahawks games. The taxpayers are paying for the stadium. Should they continue to be forced to go to it in order to see the games?
posted by goto11 (5 comments total)
 
I've always thought that the idea of blackouts were stupid. It's not like people really go "well, it's on tv so I'm gonna stay home". You're either going to go or not, TV coverage is incidental to the fan. The TV stations end up buying a lot of the tickets, anyway. That's what happened a few years back when the Dolphins couldn't sell out a game versus the Bills (one of their biggest rivals, a testament to their sorry fanbase).
posted by owillis at 10:01 PM on February 14, 2002


That line about the blackout rule being federal law piqued my curiosity, and google came up with this.

Apparently, between 1961 and 1973 the NFL was allowed to blackout any game it wanted to, even if it sold out 72 days beforehand. (arbitrary number). It was part of the Sports Broadcasting act that let the NFL package team broadcasting rights without coming under anti-trust scrutiny.

In 1973 Congress passed an amendment to the Communications Act of 1934 that said any game which was part of a 'pooled telecast' and had managed to sell out 3 days (72 hours) before hand could not be locally blacked out.

More interesting is this amendment expired December 31st, 1975. The NFL simply adopted it as official policy in 1976.
posted by alan at 10:09 PM on February 14, 2002


Although i agree with the sentiment, the fairness argument would probably lead me to ask that the next rock concert at the stadium be broadcast live also.
posted by ajayb at 7:32 AM on February 15, 2002


Although i agree with the sentiment, the fairness argument would probably lead me to ask that the next rock concert at the stadium be broadcast live also.

If the taxpayers of Washington State had built a theater specifically for the rock band in question, damn right.
posted by Ty Webb at 8:13 AM on February 15, 2002


Thank goodness the Washington State Legislature is concentrating on such pressing problems as blackouts on Seahawk games instead of improving schools or addressing the 4th worst traffic in the nation (Seattle). Keep up the good work!
posted by Dinzie at 3:59 AM on February 16, 2002


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