Senators warn NFL to drop blackout rule voluntarily or risk congressional action

Senators from both parties are urging the National Football League to get rid of a rule that bars home games from being televised in a local market if they have not sold out.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal and John McCain say the NFL's "blackout" rule is unfair to fans who have helped the league reap billions of dollars in revenue from broadcast rights to games that are among the most-watched programs on TV.

The Federal Communications Commission voted this fall to stop enforcing the NFL's blackout policy, but the action did not end blackouts, which are written into the NFL's private contracts with broadcast and cable companies.

Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, and McCain, an Arizona Republican, warned that if the league does not repeal the rule, Congress may step in.