Sports Fans Coalition is a 501(c)(4) non-profit advocacy organization founded in 2009 and based in Washington, D.C. It is the largest grassroots consumer advocacy organization devoted to representing sports fans wherever public policy and sports intersect, with individual members in all 50 states. SFC promotes affordable access to sports, particularly where public resources have been used to build stadiums and arenas.
SFC is best known for successfully petitioning the Federal Communications Commission to end the 40-year-old, anti-fan Sports Blackout Rule. Despite heavy lobbying from the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA and broadcast television industry, Sports Fans Coalition in 2014 won a unanimous 5-0 vote by the FCC to end the Sports Blackout Rule. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) supported ending the rule. The NFL subsequently suspended its local blackout policy, benefitting fans in communities hardest hit by local blackouts, including Buffalo, NY; Cincinnati, OH; Jacksonville, FL; San Diego, CA and others.
Sports Fans Coalition also championed introduction of the FANS Act in the U.S. Senate during the 114th Congress, a bill that would have required professional sports leagues, if they wanted to maintain their antitrust exemption under the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961, to prohibit broadcasters’ taking down sports events during negotiations with pay-TV companies for retransmission rights.