WASHINGTON, D.C., June 5, 2015 – Today, Sports Fans Coalition Chairman David Goodfriend named SackNFLTaxBreaks.org co-founder Ryan Rudominer — a lifelong sports fan and veteran communications strategist in our nation’s capital—as Chairman of the Sports Fan Coalition’s Mid-Atlantic region. Rudominer comes to Sports Fans fresh off having helped sack the National Football League’s nonprofit tax-exempt status, a special exception in the tax code carved out by Congress in the 1960s. SackNFLTaxBreaks.org was launched on the eve of Super Bowl XLVIII by Rudominer and co-founder Lynda Woolard, a New Orleans Saints fan whose Change.org petition calling on Congress to “Revoke the Tax-Exempt Status of the NFL” collected nearly half a million signatures. “When Ryan helped to take down the NFL’s longstanding tax exempt status, he became a hero to American sports fans and proved he was the right guy to take a new leadership role with Sports Fans Coalition,” said David Goodfriend, Chairman of the Sports Fan Coalition. “For sports fans of the mid-Atlantic region and beyond, Ryan will be a great champion.” “Our victory in pressuring the NFL to give up its nonprofit tax-exempt status is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ending taxpayer giveaways that benefit the most profitable sports leagues on the planet,” said Rudominer. “Together we kicked off a movement of nearly half a million sports fans from states and congressional districts across the country – one that cuts across party labels, socio-economic status, religion, gender, race, and ethnicity. Today I am truly honored to join Sports Fans Coalition in this exciting new capacity and look forward to achieving continued hard-earned victories on behalf of fellow sports fans everywhere.” A Wisconsin native and proud Green Bay Packers fan and shareholder, Rudominer lives and works in our nation’s capital where he is a principal at R2 Strategic Consulting, a strategic communications, advocacy and media relations firm. About Sports Fans Coalition: The nation’s largest sports fan advocacy group in the public policy arena, founded by Clinton and Bush White House staffers in 2009 and based in Washington, D.C., Sports Fans Coalition advocated for an end to the Federal Communications Commission’s “Sports Blackout Rule,” culminating in a unanimous Commission vote in 2014 to eliminate the rule and the NFL’s announcement in 2015 that it would suspend its own local blackout policy.
Charter Communications announced today that beginning next Tuesday, June 9th, its subscribers in Los Angeles will be able to view Dodgers games on SportsNet LA. For over a year, while Comcast tried to buy Time Warner Cable (the parent of SportsNet LA), Sports Fans Coalition opposed the deal, pointing to the fact that only Time Warner Cable subscribers could view Dodgers games in their home market. Comcast eventually gave up its bid for Time Warner Cable amidst overwhelming opposition to the deal. Today’s announcement vindicates Sports Fans Coalition’s staunch advocacy on behalf of L.A. Dodgers fans. Charter has announced its intent to buy Time Warner Cable but, unlike Comcast, seems to understand the importance of listening to sports fans and making the games more available. That’s good. Charter should be cheered by fans for getting this issue right. We hope it means even more availability of Dodgers games in the future.
Sports Fans Coalition MVP winners and all-around champions, Sens. McCain and Blumenthal, have pushed back on NFL teams’ misuse of taxpayer funds. The Senate today adopted an amendment offered by Sen. McCain, whose floor statement follows: Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today delivered the following statement on the Senate floor on the amendment he co-sponsored with Senators Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), which would stop the practice of the Department of Defense paying professional sports teams and leagues such as the NFL to honor American soldiers at sporting events and call on them to donate profits from these military tributes to charitable organizations that support members of the Armed Forces, veterans, and their families. The text of the amendment is attached. Continue reading
Less than a week after Sports Fans Coalition and others called for the resignation of FIFA President Sepp Blatter (see May 28th blog post), the Soccer Prez stepped down. Score another one for fans! Just another example of what happens when sports fans unite, organize, and speak up. We’re watching the leagues and letting our voices be heard. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/03/sports/soccer/sepp-blatter-to-resign-as-fifa-president.html
On Wednesday, May 27, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) unsealed a 47-count indictment against 14 international soccer officials and sports marketing executives who, according to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, engaged in “corruption that is rampant, systemic, and deeply-rooted both abroad and here in the United States,” on issues ranging from television rights, World Cups hosting rights, and FIFA leadership. Continue reading
Thanks to outspoken fans concerned about missing their home team sports, together with consumer groups, businesses, and other opponents of the deal, the FCC and Dept. of Justice decided to oppose Comcast’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable. Comcast announced it is withdrawing its bid. Both cable companies have atrocious records of mistreating fans by withholding games. Sports Fans Coalition hopes that the outcome of this proceeding will inspire better treatment of fans, particularly in Los Angeles, where Time Warner Cable still withholds Dodgers games from 70% of fans there.