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FCC was flooded with fake letters supporting the NFL’s blackout policy

The NFL has given up its blackout policy, allowing games to air on local television even when they’re not sold out.
But before finally relenting, the league spent decades defending the policy.
And during one lobbying effort with the Federal Communications Commission, a flood of letters from self-described football fans who supported the policy came in.
One problem: Those letters were bogus.
Others were signed with the names of real people, but when the Wall Street Journal contacted those people they said they never sent the letters that bore their names.
The Wall Street Journal investigation suggests that thousands of fake letters were sent advocating for the blackout policy.
The NFL, which hired four lobbying firms to assist its efforts to defend the blackout rule as the federal government worked to abolish it, insists it was involved in no wrongdoing.
In reality, fans had no reason to support the blackout rule: It was never designed to help fans, it was designed to help the NFL sell tickets.
The idea that thousands of fans would so strongly support the blackout rule that they’d lobby the FCC on the rule’s behalf is silly.
The Wall Street Journal’s report says that submitting fraudulent statements or representations to the federal government is a felony.

NBC

The NFL has given up its blackout policy, allowing games to air on local television even when they’re not sold out. But before finally relenting, the league spent decades defending the policy. And during one lobbying effort with the Federal Communications Commission, a flood of letters from self-described football fans who supported the policy came in.

One problem: Those letters were bogus. Some of them were signed with names of fictional characters like Luke Skywalker and Bilbo Baggins. Others were signed with the names of real people, but when the Wall Street Journal contacted those people they said they never sent the letters that bore their names. The Wall Street Journal investigation suggests that thousands of fake letters were sent advocating for the blackout…

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