Proposed bill could end NFL TV blackouts in Florida

Jerral Stewart and Jonathan Pillow play football for the FAMU Rattlers. Jerral grew up near Miami and is a lifelong Dolphins fan. Jonathan is from Jacksonville and loves the Jaguars. Both can remember trying to watch games on television only to discover they had been blacked-out.

"You turn to it and it says it's been blacked-out in your area, so it's kinda bumin, because you want to see your team," said Jonathan.

"Local teams should be played locally. If anything, it should be blacked-out nationally," said Jerral.

If a game doesn't sellout within three days of kickoff, the NFL will take it off local television. It's called a blackout and at the state Capitol, one lawmaker is trying to stop the practice. State Senator Mike Fasano filed a bill to fine NFL teams $125,000 dollars every time there is a blackout.

"People have put their money over the years to help the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Miami Dolphins, the Tampa Bay Bucs and now it's time for those owners to reciprocate and step up to the plate and make certain there are no blackouts," said Fasano.

The money would be used to purchase tickets to be given to foster kids or the military in an attempt to stop future blackouts.

"A message to the NFL as well: I don't care if it's a 40 or 50 year policy in place. Change the policy," said Fasano.

Fasano recognizes he can't take on the NFL, but says the team owners are fair game, because the state gives each of them a two million dollar tax break every year. Fasano's cause already has support from fans. On Friday, an organized group of NFL fans petitioned the FCC to stop the blackouts.

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