Cleveland Indians Oppose Lessening of Protection for AM Stations by FCC

When FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai released a statement discussing the new rules for AM broadcasters, it was framed in such a way as to make it sound like a positive development for AM radio. It discussed short-term relief for AM broadcasters and additional opportunities to acquire FM translators, and explained that AM radio mattered and a new chapter in AM revitalization was being opened. The Cleveland Indians, however, are of a different view when it comes to the proposed rules. In a March 21, 2016
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Sports Legislation and Regulation in 2016: The Hot Topics (Part II)

In the first part of our look ahead to what are some of the hottest sports legislation topics, we focused on the battle surrounding daily fantasy sports sites FanDuel and DraftKings, along with the FCC’s potential ruling on “linear” online video platforms that offer sports streaming. Today, we’ll look at the fate of the Washington Redskins’ name and a bill that could end sports blackouts. THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS’ MONIKER In July 2015, a federal judge ordered the cancellation of the Washington Redskins’ federal trademark registrations.…
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Sports Legislation and Regulation in 2016: The Hot Topics (Part I)

In the realm of sports law, 2016 will provide some interesting developments as to legislation and regulation. First, many states are likely to take a stance on daily fantasy sports in 2016 — both in the courts and via state legislation. Second, the FCC will rule on “linear” online video platforms that offer sports streaming. Third, the Washington Redskins’ challenge to the cancellation of its trademark registration will face a federal bill proposing to force a name change. And finally, the bill proposal seeking to…
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FCC Asked to Block Renewal of TV Licenses for Use of Word “Redskins”

The broadcast licenses of two Los Angeles TV stations have been challenged for their use of the name “Redskins” on air. Four Native Americans filed petitions with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asking it to deny license renewals for Fox-owned KTTV and NBC-owned KNBC-TV.  Three petitions were filed against KTTV, a station which broadcasts Redskins football games, on October 31.  The KNBC petition was filed on November 3, just in time for the deadline on such petitions.  All four were filed with the assistance of…
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FCC Eliminates Its NFL Blackout Rule

Here in Buffalo, football fans are enraged by the words “Blackout Rule.”  That reaction, however, may be a thing of the past.  On Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) voted unanimously to end the rule. The nearly 40 year old rule was enacted by the FCC to promote attendance at local games.  It did so by banning cable and satellite providers from airing local broadcasts of a game that did not meet attendance requirements.  More specifically, a local broadcaster cannot air a game within a…
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House Democrats Attempting to Save Net Neutrality

Recently, the federal appeals court for the D.C. Circuit vacated the Federal Communication Commission (FCC)’s net neutrality rules, claiming that the FCC had failed to justify these regulations under existing law.  However, noting that the appeals court ruling clearly stated that the FCC had the power to regulate broadband access, two Representatives – California Democrats Henry Waxman and Anna Eshoo – are leading a Congressional push to get temporary net neutrality rules in place until the FCC can properly tailor those regulations in a manner…
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Will It Soon Be Lights Out for the Black Out Rule?

Exciting news was announced for sports fans living in towns with fluctuating home game attendance this week.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced it is reviewing the need for the “blackout” rule. The nearly 40 year old rule prevents satellite and cable companies from televising NFL Events in a team’s home market if the game does not sell out.  The blackout rule was developed when teams earned a significant portion of their revenue from ticket sales.  The idea was implemented in 1975 to encourage fans…
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