FCC blackout of blackouts not a game-changer


FCC BlackoutWells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker believes that it will be business as usual as broadcasters, MVPDs and the NFL move forward without an FCC blackout rule. For starters, as the FCC itself stated, the lack of an FCC rule doesn’t mean blackouts will end.

Ryvicker noted that the NFL can still enforce blackouts when ticket sales are not as robust as it would like under terms of its contracts with the entities that air the games. It just can’t say it’s doing so with FCC approval or per FCC rules and regulations.

However, since the NFL is driven to a large extent by its presence on television, Ryvicker believes it has little incentive to take games off the medium.

Further, the contracts currently in place with broadcast networks last up until 2022, making a sudden move away from broadcast highly unlikely even if the NFL desired to pursue such an option.

Therefore, any change of any kind to the relationships between the NFL, broadcasters and MVPDs is unlikely.