The Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961
Because of the Sports Broadcasting Act, which allows professional football, basketball, hockey, and basketball to pool and sell their rights in sponsored telecasts of games. This act allows the pooling of these television rights to be exempt from the Sherman Antitrust Act. This enables teams to put their separate rights together in a single package so the league can sell that package to a single television network such as FOX or ABC. This is designed to protect home ticket sales and allow teams to share the revenues. It also has been interpreted to include what are called “blackout rules” which protect the home team from competing games broadcast into its home territory on days when it is playing at home. The focus on “sponsored telecasts” has been interpreted to ensure free local and national broadcasts of games. However, paid broadcasts on cable and league agreements with cable broadcasters are not covered by the antitrust exemption.
Sports Broadcast Graphics