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FCC Sacks The Sports Blackout Rule: Keeping Pace with Viewer Expectations

FCC Sacks The Sports Blackout Rule: Keeping Pace with Viewer Expectations

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unanimously ruled against the Sports Blackout Rule today, eliminating the rule that forces cable and satellite companies to black out any games that are also blacked out on local broadcast TV. Although the rule applied to all sports leagues, the National Football League (NFL) was the most vociferous opponent primarily because NFL games are still available on broadcast TV.

The exiling of the nearly-40-year-old rule illustrates an interesting shift away from these rooted legacy models and is forcing publishers to rethink how they distribute content to consumers. And not just on TV, but across all screens. Today’s population is more mobile than ever and expect to view content when they want, where they want, and on any device they want. In fact, according to our latest research report, 72% of consumers admit that would choose to watch video on-demand (VOD) content over linear TV simply because they ‘can watch it anytime.’

Content on demand -- whether digital or broadcast -- is the new expectation and the industry needs to keep pace. The departure from the Blackout Rule signifies that all industries are affected and if you want to stay relevant, it’s a smart move to align your business with how consumers want and expect to view content.