The NFL may have sent fake fan letters to the FCC in 2014 to keep a sports blackout rule

In 2014, the Federal Communications Commission received thousands of letters from NFL fans asking for it to keep a sports blackout rule intact — a policy that allowed the NFL to block TV stations from airing games that weren’t sold out. The Wall Street Journal reports today that many of the letters appear to be fake: some signatures used fake names like The Hobbit’s Bilbo Baggins, and others used real email addresses but owners denied ever writing those letters.

Due to travel requirements, accessibility, and ticket prices, it’s clear why many people would prefer to watch football on TV, which leaves the NFL fighting to convince viewers to buy tickets to fill up stadiums that remain half empty. That’s why, in 1975, the NFL successfully…

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