The FCC has voted unanimously to scrap a 40 year old blackout rule. The NFL has long barred local stations from broadcasting NFL games to local fans if the game was not sold out. In the 1970s, the FCC created rules barring cable companies from airing those blacked out games in those markets. Originating in a time when the NFL was dependent on ticket sales for revenue, the theory was that fans who were able to catch a game on TV would be less likely to buy a ticket to the game and would instead watch at home on the couch. So the natural solution was to bar them from doing that, forcing fans to buy tickets to see their games until the stadium was sold out, at which point it could be aired on TV.
Now that the NFL is a multi-billion dollar business, and ticket sales now account for a mere fraction of the money that flows into the most popular sports league in the country. Recognizing this, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler advocated doing away with the blackout rule for good. While the NFL opposed this plan, this change is unlikely to impact much, especially the league and teams’ bottom lines. The FCC has removed the legal threat to broadcasters or cable companies who televise a game in a local market if a stadium is not sold out, however the NFL still maintains that rule, and holds enough clout with its broadcast partners to enforce it.
Today regulators, TV stations, cable companies, even the NFL all have the power to block content from reaching consumers. But here at FreeCast Inc, we envision a future where that doesn’t happen. From live sports events to classic movies, the Internet is quickly becoming consumers’ main conduit for entertainment. A large part of the appeal of streaming video over the web, is that it’s not as easy for so many entities to control who gets what, largely because it falls on the consumer to search for and find what they want to watch.
That’s where Rabbit TV comes in. Today we think of television of effortless. You flip it on, and you can surf through channels until you discover something you want to watch and know exactly when and where to find your favorite shows. Rabbit TV brings that simplicity and ease of use to over-the-top content through the world’s most powerful media guide. Because it is a guide, it simply takes you to the content at its source, so there’s never any need to worry about broadcasting rights, blackouts, or high-stakes negotiations with content providers. By delivering the user to the content source, rather than delivering the content from the source to the viewer as current cable companies do, we effectively remove the middle-man.