Blacking out NFL games from local TV seems like an odd idea, but it’s still a reality in places like San Diego and Buffalo. Last year, the Chargers and Bills owners told TV stations not to show the games, and here’s what almost happened in Wisconsin during the playoffs:
The most egregious case was in Green Bay, where the weather forecast called for a low of minus-15 degrees. Despite decades of unbelievable fan support and loyalty – Green Bay had sold out every regular season game since 1959 – local Packer fans were effectively told that if more people didn’t buy tickets to go freeze, the rest of the community wouldn’t be able to watch the game on TV.
That salty description comes from none other than FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, whose agency helps to enforce a blackout rule by requiring pay TV providers to mirror local broadcasters’ restrictions. In practice, this…
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