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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Lawmakers, fans seek end to NFL blackouts



For the past two seasons, blackouts have become a way of life for the Buccaneers. Of their 15 regular-season games played at Raymond James Stadium during that time, 13 have not aired on local television.

But there's a grassroots movement here and around the country to eliminate an NFL rule that has been in place for nearly 40 years that states any game not sold out 72 hours before kickoff cannot be shown within a 75-mile radius of the stadium.

"There's no need for it,'' Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, said. "It's time for this to end.''

Fasano recently filed a bill that would require Florida's three teams — Bucs, Dolphins and Jaguars — to televise all home games locally whether they're sold out or not. Fasano's bill would fine teams $125,000 for each game blacked out. Similar bills are being considered in other states.

Story here.

[Last modified: Saturday, January 21, 2012 5:06pm]


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