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Home / US Business / To broadcast games on Saturdays, the NFL may need to seek government permission

To broadcast games on Saturdays, the NFL may need to seek government permission



Tom Brady of Buccaneers is looking for an open receiver in the red zone during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp on August 4, 2020 at the AdventHealth Training Center in Tampa, Florida.

Cliff Welch | Icon Sportswire | Getty Images

As Covid-19 sets fire to college athletics, the National Football League may be changing its schedule to include Saturday matches, perhaps even Friday competitions, but that's an obstacle ̵

1; US law.

Chapter 32 of Title 15 of the United States Code states that the NFL is prohibited from broadcasting content on Friday nights beginning at 6pm or "on any Saturday" as a high school and college football game usually occupies those days / time slots in the fall .

The Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961 was enacted to grant sports organizations, including the NFL, an exemption from the Sherman Antitrust Act. , which allowed leagues to gather their teams' content rights in a package and sell those rights to TV networks.

The law, which was introduced by the New York Rep. Emanuel Celler and signed by President John F. Kennedy in September 1961, led to the NFL's first major deal with CBS in 1962 for about $ 4.6 million.

The Sports Act of 1961 also included provisions that protected football matches in high school and collegiate. The law states that the NFL is not permitted to display games "during the period beginning on the second Friday in September and ending on the second Saturday in December of all years from any telecommunications station located within seventy-five miles of the gaming site to any intercollegiate or interscholastic football competition scheduled to be played. "

When the Big Ten and Pac-12 became the first of the Power Five conferences to postpone football seasons due to Covid-19, the NFL was explored to move games to Saturday, and perhaps even Friday.

Mike Arthur, senior vice president of Veritone, which advises the Big Ten on its advertising and content licensing, also mentioned TV networks will come and call sooner rather than later when they fully know what's going on with college football.

The NFL currently has media rights agreements with major networks, including CBS, NBC and Fox, which bring in more than $ 5 billion annually.

On Wednesday, The Washington Post also reported that the NFL could demand a wavier to broadcast games on Saturdays, but also noted that the league "would be leery of damaging its relationship with college football."

Although the Big Ten and Pac-12 played the safe, Southeastern conference, which generated $ 721 million in revenue for 2019, Atlantic The Coast Conference and Big 12 are still planning to hold football seasons for now.

The NFL would also need approval from the National Football League Players Association, and preliminary discussions have not taken place.

The NFL did not return calls from CNBC seeking comment. [19659002] The NFL, which canceled its preseason due to Covid-19, is scheduled to open its 2020 season on September 10 on NBC as the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs hosts Houston Texa ns.

Publication: NBC Sports, which shares parent NBCUniversal with CNBC, broadcasts NFL games.


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