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WBEN NewsRadio 930>Audio & Video on Demand>>Railing Against NFL Blackout Rules - FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai

Railing Against NFL Blackout Rules - FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai

Aug 12, 2014|

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

We welcome our next guest on sheep by a member of the FCC commission in Washington DC. Mr. -- commissioner thank you for joining us this morning thank Democrat. You are very welcome -- the National Football League blackout rule blacking out a home football game to fans. When the stadium is not sold out -- there's been pressure on the FCC for a long time now to intervene and do something about it. Can you do anything about it sir first of all whose rule is -- to begin. -- -- black have all these you mentioned is the NFL but the FCC back by. A requiring cable and satellite companies to abide by its essentially political TV stations like that the game. Cable and satellite companies have to do it too. And that through the FCC adopted way back in 1975 and I think both of the return and frankly the minute felt and the times come to to get rid of it. To get rid of the portion of blacks and down on cable or the overall blacked out -- Ultimately the cable and satellite rules are the only ones that we have authority over at the FCC -- I'm confident that if we get rid of that they'll get some momentum Q. Getting rid of the overall halt the at least making it more fan friendly. Does the FCC. A little weak on the power side of sir when it comes to cable TV verses. Public television. Oh well I think who he we have full a lot of authority in the area to do what's the public interest but. A lot of times it becomes very difficult to you take actions that you will help -- one side or the other and I'm I've watched public television myself send them a big fan of that and I've done what I can I can as one of the five commissioners via BC. And make sure the public TV's -- the place Atlanta gave. Is it enough just to say fans don't like this or do you have another rationale there too. Well there are a lot of different rationale for the most important one I think is that if the government shouldn't put its thumb on the scale on the side of NFL team owners and we should let. You've NFL negotiate with -- video distributors and find. And accommodation but to what we shouldn't do is potentially save you would have the NFL's all he has. But we're going to back at and you know prohibit cable satellite companies -- -- -- games as well. That's the kind of government intervention that doesn't do anyone any good at the end there. It sounds after listening to you commissioner leapt. -- this is going to pass. Now I guess my next question would be when might we expect the FCC to take an actual official vote on lifting of like. What truly hope we do -- noon the FCC is led by determined that the agenda and that he is. Both active and a big sports fan and I'm hopeful that he and my fellow commissioners will. Both call for the vote and go to get rid of the rule by the end of the year with the very latest. You are one of five commissioners have others spoken out the same way you are now. No one yet but I think that that you were still in the process collaborating and -- hope that. In my comments the -- will kick start a conversation about it because I think especially with me and it felt these blooming. The last thing we want -- for fans to be kept in the to market during another exciting season. You know way back when the American. Football League began in the 1960s. The American Football League had a blackout ruled that. I'm not sure you're aware of that. Maybe it is maybe the NFL didn't thought the -- certainly did here on the Buffalo, New York area. When the Buffalo Bills played any team in the in the voting. AFL. Folks would by big television -- importantly creepy it so that they could seal the Buffalo Bills game on channel twelve. That was very common here in the sixties. Yeah and that's actually promote what the -- he explored when we teed up last year. A proposal to get rid of the rule and as we don't know the history found -- like that and the other thing we found which is interesting dating back that time is that. -- gate receipts were much more important to NFL teams back in the sixties and seventies and they are now. Renowned television revenue mix up the bulk of the money's so. Is that only proves that the little black out rule -- -- like -- rules outlived its usefulness I think 2014. And I don't want to belabor the point just just sort of in closing as a way of summarizing your. You don't only think this should happen you really think the momentum has shifted enough that this rule will disappear. I think it has and I think you we've heard from thousands pinnacle fans across the countries that -- and we love the game. Sometimes we just can't go for whatever reason you were ultimately when it fixed income we have young kids that we disability. You the black Ferrell only penalizes those folks and especially with it TV revenue making at the greater share of the revenue pie for these teams. I don't think it's hurt anyone and -- anymore right now for the rule to persist. Will your decision and be binding only NFL they have to agree and vote on the two. And hopefully will be binding we'll have much to get rid of the rule the rules -- -- now the NFL could still have its -- policies that. Again I think that you once you with big government get out of the way. There's going to be more pressure to adopt a fan friendly approached you let's elect and -- and told him. Commissioner good to have 2 -- -- this morning we're very grateful thank you. Sacred -- operative occupy a member of the FCC commissioner in Washington.

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