FCC proposes eliminating blackout rule

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- For the second time in two months, the Federal Communications Commission has proposed eliminating their sports television blackout rule.

Due to the rule, which remains in effect, the Buffalo Bills' game Sunday against the Miami Dolphins will not be shown on local television since 16,000 tickets to the contest remain unsold.

In a statement released Wednesday, the FCC said that the sports landscape has changed in the 40 years since the rule has been in effect.

"Changes in the sports industry in the last four decades have called into question whether the sports blackout rules remain necessary to ensure the overall availability of sports programming to the general public," the FCC said in its proposal. "In this proceeding, we will determine whether the sports blackout rules have become outdated due to marketplace changes since their adoption, and whether modification or elimination of those rules is appropriate."

However, the FCC said its aim is to "eliminate unnecessary [government] regulation" and that blackout rules could still be maintained by professional sports leagues and television networks.

The FCC released a similar proposal on Nov. 1.