New England Patriots v Kanas City Chiefs
National Football League fans won't have to deal with blacked-out home games anymore: The Federal Communications Commission has overturned the league's blackout rule policy.

The rule, which prohibited local television stations from broadcasting home team games if they didn't sell out, had been in place since the early 1970s in an effort to boost ticket sales. But while attendance at NFL games at the time was relatively low, and ticket revenue was the league's number one money-maker, advertising has since taken over as the top breadwinner, and broadcasters had argued that the rule should go.

And in a unanimous decision, the FCC agreed, saying in a statement Tuesday that the policy was "no longer justified in light of the significant changes in the sports industry since these rules were first adopted nearly forty years ago."

"Blackouts of NFL games are increasingly rare," the FCC added. "The NFL is the most profitable sports league in the country, with $6 billion in television revenue per year."

But one concession to the FCC decision is that the NFL may still choose to keep its blackout policy intact -- it will just lose the protection of the FCC (which preserves the league's copyright on game broadcasts) if it does so. The league had also threatened in the past to move more of its games to pay television such as cable and satellite if the rule was overturned.

Here's hoping the NFL and the FCC can settle their differences, and give the fans what they want. More television is always a win.

[via: USA Today]

Photo credit: Getty Images

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