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Learn about sports blackouts

Sports leagues and associations such as the NFL, NBA, MLB, etc., negotiate broadcasting rights with local and national channels. Verizon is bound to adhere to the broadcast restrictions that are contracted between the governing sports bodies and broadcasters.

Blackouts occur due to one of the following reasons:

  • A sports association has granted a national broadcaster exclusive rights to air a specific sporting event. For example, ESPN has exclusive rights to air games that begin after 5PM ET on Sundays.
  • A sporting event is not sold out in time to lift blackout restrictions in a team’s home market. For example, NFL blackout restrictions apply if Sunday afternoon games are not sold out within 72 hours of kick-off.

NOTE: Sports blackout rules change from time to time. As a general rule, if a game is blacked out in your area, always check your Interactive Media Guide to see if the game is airing on another Fios TV channel.

Additional information can be found at FCC Sports Blackouts.

Blackouts by sport

Current blackout guidelines, organized by sport, appear below.