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Bills-stadium_jpg-300x199Good news for football fans – sort of. The Federal Communications Commission has proposed lifting blackout rules. This is what the acting chairwoman said:

“Changes in the marketplace have raised questions about whether these rules are still in the public interest, particularly at a time when high ticket prices and the economy make it difficult for many sports fans to attend games. Elimination of our sports blackout rules will not prevent the sports leagues, broadcasters, and cable and satellite providers from privately negotiating agreements to black out certain sports events.

“Nevertheless, if the record in this proceeding shows that the rules are no longer justified, the Commission’s involvement in this area should end.”

It’s a step in the right direction, but there could still be blackouts. And the rule won’t be changed overnight, as the FCC needs to gather public input. The Buffalo News reports:

Nevertheless, the FCC’s proposed change will put pressure on the NFL to abandon its blackout policy, said Matt Sabuda, president of the Buffalo Fan Alliance and the leading local figure in the effort to get the NFL to ease its television blackout policy.

“This is probably the tipping point to get the NFL to get rid of its blackout rule altogether,” Sabuda said.


Both the FCC rule and the NFL’s version have been under assault, though, from Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, and other lawmakers.

“Blackout rules are unfair, outdated and alienate dedicated fans,” Higgins said…

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., teamed with Higgins last year to press the NFL to ease its blackout policy. And this year, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., introduced legislation that would decimate the NFL’s blackout policy by requiring all home games that are played in publicly financed stadiums to be televised.

Taxpayers will shell out $226 million over the next decade to keep the Bills in Buffalo, even though there are dubious economic benefits.

Note to readers: Yes, I’ve been posting a lot less. I have been directing much of my attention to my new job anchoring News 8 First at 4. The effort it takes to post daily, as I used to do, is enormous. The monetary benefit is negligible. However, I’m proud of The Rochesterian and this format. Thank you for your continuing interest. You can find much of the content I post in Links of the Day on my Twitter feed.


Links of the Day:


– The probe of local development corporations is focusing a transfer of a contract.

– Casinos will likely not lower our taxes. Empire Center explains why the hype is much ado about nothing.

– I reported on an 11-year-old boy who was shot while walking to the store on Sunday morning. Please read this and think about how some children and families are forced to live.

– Senator Charles Schumer’s latest fight is to keep an orphaned polar bear cub in Buffalo.

Schumer likes posing with booze and food.

– There was Sibley’s, McCurdy’sand Edwards.

I think we’ve all felt this way about bathroom attendants.

Links of the Day:

– Arthur Shawcross wasn’t Rochester’s only serial killer. John White was suspected of murdering prostitutes around the same time, but he died before police could make an arrest. The Buffalo News ran a wire story crediting a database researcher for exposing the murders, which is simply not true. The case got extensive attention in Rochester in the 1990s. Reporters who remember the coverage are incredulous:

– A New York Times reporter put on a tux and crashed an exlcusive Wall Street fraternity party. What he saw is reminiscent of the Buffalo law firm Halloween party.

– Ursula Burns is selling her six-bedroom, six-bath home in Brighton. It’s quite beautiful.

– Kodak’s bankruptcy could complicate the redevelopment of Eastman Business Park. notably, Assemblyman Joe Morelle is concerned the governor’s office isn’t engaged in the importance of the industrial complex’s future.

– Maybe there’s hope for Kodak’s motion picture film division. A study finds the preservation of digital movies is a huge issue. They don’t hold up like film.

– The FCC is looking at NFL blackout rules. The Buffalo News has contact information if you’d like to weigh in. I always thought it was kind of nervy for the government to require broadcast and cable companies to block out a signal of games televised at publicly-funded stadiums. Others think one has nothing to do with the other.

– “You look like you just rolled out of bed.” Apparently, that’s all the rage now. The Wall Street Journal tells us pajama pants and loungewear is very trendy. The New York Times writes messy hair and smudged makeup is cool. Let’s hope this fad fades fast.