A Sports Cheer for John McCain (Arizona Republic)
Sports fans from around the United States are cheering for Arizona’s senator. Forget about political parties, gridlock and partisanship in Washington, D.C. Every fan has a champion in Sen. John McCain, who is willing to take on the biggest, most powerful professional sports leagues and help our American pastimes better reflect our values of fair play and community. Continue reading
Golf for the Masses?
For fans concerned about the steady migration of sports events from free, over-the-air broadcast TV to cable/satellite and other video subscription services, the recent news of the British Open coming back to broadcast TV was good news. ESPN and its parent company, Disney, which held rights to the tournament for decades, lost a bid to NBC Sports Group, which in turn has committed to bring back the tournament to broadcast TV starting in 2017. While most Americans subscribe to cable or satellite TV, many low-income households and so-called “cord cutters” who do not get pay-TV opt for free, over-the-air broadcast TV, especially in HD. While golf might not be the top spectator sport for most Americans, the British Open’s return to broadcast could be a preview of greater accessibility to come. And who knows… maybe the next Tiger Woods will be inspired to attempt that approach to the 18th green with a 9-iron.
PRESS RELEASE: Sports Fans Coalition Names Ryan Rudominer Chairman of the Mid-Atlantic Region
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.
Good News for L.A. Dodgers Fans
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.
Senators McCain and Blumenthal Stick Up for Fans, Veterans
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
BYE BYE BLATTER!
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
Sports Fans Coalition Calls for FIFA President Sepp Blatter to Resign
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
Fans Win Again as NFL Drops Non-Profit Tax Status
Sports Fans Coalition applauds the decision by the NFL to drop its non-profit tax status, currently codified in Section 501(c)(6) of the Federal Internal Revenue Code. Continue reading
Fans Beat Comcast in Upset!
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.