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The FCC has ended the blackout rule, NFL could follow suit

If it's up to the FCC, there will be no more sports blackouts. The NFL still has to follow suit, though.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The FCC has officially removed the infamous blackout rule from its books, per Daniel Kaplan. The rule prevented games from being seen on television in a home team's market if the game did not sell out of non-premium tickets.However, the elimination of that rule does not mean that the NFL will remove its own blackout rule: it has just lost an excuse to hide behind.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were recordholders in home blackouts from 2010 through 2012, with 19 of 23 home games blacked out during those three years -- the remaining, 24th home game was played in London. However, the Bucs have guaranteed a removal of blackouts the past two seasons by buying up any remaining non-premium tickets, which they can do at a significantly reduced price.

The NFL already weakened its blackout rule back in 2012, when it allowed teams to set a ticket sales benchmark for blackouts somewhere between 85% and 100% of non-premium tickets sold. The FCC elimination of the blackout rule could be the final push it needs to get rid of this archaic rule altogether.