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Verizon went behind the NFL's back to support ending TV blackouts

Verizon Wireless, a media partner of the NFL, secretly supported ending the NFL blackout rule.
October 4, 2014

It has been a tough last few months for the NFL off-the-field. When the NFL Commissioner isn’t being exposed as a fraud hypocrite liar phony for his league-wide personal conduct policy, his argument for keeping NFL blackout rules in place continues being laughed at by the FCC, who last week ended the prohibition on telecasts of local games if not enough tickets were sold in advance.

Now, the New York Post is reporting that Verizon Wireless, a media partner of the NFL, secretly supported ending the NFL blackout rule. Verizon backed the lobbying efforts of the Sports Fan Coalition which successfully sought to end the federal regulatory ban on cable stations airing NFL games that were blacked out locally.

NFL TV Rights Revenue

According to the Post, Verizon was approached by the Sports Fan Coalition three years ago. Until last year, Verizon had a substantial reason for wanting the blackouts to be a thing of the past.

Under its original mobile deal with the NFL in 2010, Verizon customers couldn’t stream home-market games on their smartphones — which, like the blackout rule, was aimed at ensuring attendance at local games. Verizon only gained access to local games last year, when it agreed to pay $1 billion over four years to renew the deal with the NFL. A Verizon spokesman declined to comment. – New York Post

The NFL tried in recent months to claim that thousands of organizations and fans have contacted the league to keep the blackout rules alive yet I have not met or heard of a single person/group that supported the NFL blackout rules (unless they had a financial incentive to keep the rule in place). Then there was the NFL threatening the FCC that they would be forced to charge the public $60-$80 per month for games if the federal ban on blackouts was ended.