As expected, the Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing for Nov. 19 on The FANS Act, legislation backed by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) that would remove the antitrust exemption for sports leagues that include blackouts of game broadcasts in their licensing agreements.
It is actually the rescheduling of a hearing initially targeted for before the election.
At the urging of, among others, Sen. Blumenthal, the FCC earlier this year voted to eliminate its sports blackout rules, which backstopped those contractual blackouts, but that did not change the fact that the leagues—the NFL was the prime target—were still free to make such blackouts part of their rights contracts.
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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