As a sports fan, I hate blackout policies. Every day there are a few MLB games I cannot watch, even though I pay a subscription directly to MLB. They're obviously not the only league that does it, but I can only find rules in North American leagues. I understand that in some ways blackout rules were once imposed by the FCC, but that is no longer the case.

Do blackout rules exist anywhere outside North America? I've been looking around and all I've found are rules in Canadian and American leagues. I've found no blackout rules in Europe, Australia, Asia, or otherwise. Am I just not looking in the right places, or do these rules only exist here?

1 Answer 1


Television Blackouts of sporting events do occur outside North America.

For example, Soccer games in the UK are blacked out if they're played between 245 and 515 on a Saturday.


The UK’s Saturday-afternoon TV football blackout (from 2.45pm-5.15pm) has been in place since the 1960s, when it was feared that the relatively new medium would drive down attendances if it got his clutches on the 3pm kick-offs. This draconian legislation even extends to foreign football – last season, Sky Sports had to join one El Clásico fifteen minutes late because it kicked off at 5pm, which no doubt saved several Football League clubs from administration.


That would equate to Prime Time in key Asian markets but also would mean 3pm kick-offs in Britain. Due to television blackout rules, matches at that time cannot be broadcast live on British television to protect attendances at games around the country.

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