Written by Maury Brown
Thursday, 01 February 2007 10:40
As noted yesterday, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) voiced concerns about the proposed deal to make MLB Extra Innings only available on DirecTV and said he would address it during a hearing today by the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
That hearing, entitled Assessing the Communications Marketplace: A View from the FCC took place, with the following comments regarding the proposed MLB Extra Innings deal with DirecTV in John Kerry's opening statements:
I am concerned about access to television programming. I find disheartening the increasing phenomenon of exclusive carriage deals and vertical integration in the media industry that have one result – the business firms get wealthy and consumers have fewer choices – and fewer sports fans having access to their favorite teams.
I understand Major League Baseball will soon cut an exclusive deal with DirecTV that will eliminate out-of-market baseball packages for Dish and Cable subscribers. I hope I am wrong, because this is audacious move. It will mean that out-of-market baseball fans that pay for a premium package to see their team will lose access to those games.
That is wrong. Major League Baseball and DirecTV need a reality check – more eyeballs, not fewer, on your games enhances your sport, strengthens fan loyalty and serves the public. I am interested in the Chairman’s views about this. I want to look at this entire picture – there are other practices in the industry that are equally disturbing. We need to take a look at the carriage system to ensure consumers are protected and independent programming is supported.
Watch the hearing in entirety here
(Real Media format
OTHER EXTRA INNINGS ONLY ON DIRECTV ARTICLES ON BIZ OF BASEBALL (from oldest to newest)