Several drinking establishments intercepted St Louis Cardinal football games within the "blacked out" area. U.S Code Title 15, Chapter 32 outlines the telecasting of professional sports contests; Section 1291 prohibits the broadcasting of a game in the home territory (within 75 miles of the home stadium)if the game is not sold out 72 hours prior to kickoff. This section was created to encourage fans to buy tickets instead of just enjoying a free broadcast at home.
The businesses in question used satellites to receive games in the St Louis area which clearly Section 1291. The NFL sued and won against most of the alleged infringers on the basis of the Homestyle Act. The satellites were deemed not to be commonly found in private homes and the bars were prohibited from continuing this practice. Oddly enough, one bar was not found liable because he had closed the bar and just invited a handful of friends to watch the game; this was ruled a "reasonable circle of social acquaintances".
As stated above, Section 1291 is in place to ensure fans attend home games. When a bar steals the signal of a blacked out game and broadcasts it to attract customers (and thus increase business), they are denying the copyright holders, the NFL, their entitled compensation. The actions of these proprietors rob the NFL of ticket revenue, so Section 1291 was created. The FMLA prevents gatherings at bars large enough to lower the Nielsen ratings and deprive the NFL of advertising revenue. It is reasonable that fans of the Eagles should go to Eagles games; they can not all be free riders. However, fans of all teams watch the Super Bowl and it is a trend that they watch it in large gatherings; it is unreasonable to maintain a policy that supports a flawed ratings system while denying consumers their right to be social.