In a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial urged the agency to maintain its sports blackout rule, which he says has “worked as intended, maintaining a regulatory framework that has promoted and protected the distribution of sports programming on free, over-the-air broadcast television.”
Morial cited his experience as Mayor of New Orleans in his support of the rule. [F]rom my experience as the Mayor of New Orleans, I can attest that the current broadcast rule also promotes robust game attendance that provides economic benefits for the surrounding community. Sold-out games and capacity crowds generate jobs, investment and economic activity in our local communities and urban areas. This activity promotes employment and business opportunities in the hospitality, transportation, food, retail and other service-related industries.”
Morial warned that eliminating the rule may cost jobs and depress economic activity at a time when too many Americans, in particular African Americans, continue to face high unemployment rates and economic inequality.