The Sports Marketing Act of 1961

"The Act That Changed The Game"

Contraversy With the NFL

In recent years validity of the NFL’s antitrust exemption under THE Sports Broadcasting Act has been called into question. The issue occurred when the NFL began to run live games on its own NFL Network. They then sell the rights to carry NFL Network to cable and satellite providers at a high cost. This has angered cable companies such as Comcast and they feel that the NFL’s antitrust exemption should be repealed. The NFL counters that they are the only professional league that broadcasts all of its local market games on free over-the-air broadcast. The NFL claims they do not run afoul of the antitrust laws because they are “pro-competitive” and expand choices for consumers

Overview

Established in 1961, the Sports Broadcasting Act 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

Offical Law

The Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961 affects Title 15 of the United States Code, Chapter 32 "Telecasting of Professional Sports Contest" (§§ 1291-1295)
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