The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering a proposal that would eliminate the sports blackout rule which bars cable and satellite systems from carrying a sporting event that is blacked out on local broadcast television stations. In other words, a local broadcaster is required to black out a game because tickets didn’t sell out 72 hours in advance. Unfortunately, this rule usually means that fans are not allowed to watch that game any other way. This rule has been in effect for 36 years and is aimed at ensuring that enough fans attend games. February 13 marked the last day for the FCC to receive comments. The FCC has reportedly received about 100 comments; an overwhelming majority of the comments favor eliminating the rule. The Sports Fans Coalition, a nonprofit fan advocacy organization, and other public interest groups filed a petition for rulemaking asking the FCC to eliminate the blackout rule. The petition asserted that sports economics and the technological means of distributing games have rendered these [blackout] rules obsolete.” Sports Fans Coalition Executive Director Brian Frederick argues that the blackout rule punishes “fans who physically cannot attend games or who cannot afford to go and they decrease fan interest, thus compounding the problem.” National Football League (NFL) Commissioner Roger Goodell has defended the policy by noting that the NFL only had 16 blackouts in 2011. In addition, Goodell has noted that the NFL is required to balance between making games available on free TV with encouraging fans to come to the stadium. Perhaps a reasonable compromise the FCC should consider is to reduce the 72 hour requirement to 48 or 24 hours. The announcement of the FCC’s decision is not certain and the agency does not have a deadline to act.