COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSPD) -- One of five commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission is speaking out against the NFL's blackout rule.

Under the current rules, when home games are not sold out, local television stations and cable and satellite providers cannot broadcast the game in the team's home market.

"I think whatever validity the rule might have had back in 1975 when we adopted it, it's outlived its usefulness and it harms fans all across the country from Buffalo to San Diego and Cleveland to Tampa Bay," said Ajit Pai.

He's calling for a vote on the measure by the full FCC panel. The group voted unanimously back in December to take a look at the issue.

"I hope that's a sign for the future that when the time comes they'll agree with me that we should send it to the scrap heap," he said.

But the NFL isn't going to back down without a fight. The NFL and its network broadcasters have established a "Protect Football on Free TV" campaign, and appointed Hall of Fame receiver Lynn Swann as its spokesman.  

"Repealing the rule may lead to unintended consequences and deny viewers of valuable sports programming on broadcast television," Swann said. He then noted more than 10,000 community leaders across the country have sent letters urging the FCC to keep the blackout policy in place.