America's new pastime: messing with programming access

Ironically, America's so-called pastime, baseball, may have been eclipsed by a new one: messing with access to watch baseball on television. The Cablevision (NYSE: CVC)- News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA) slugfest has set the stage for what could be a bigger, more active movement within the government to prevent future station blackouts.

New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg, whose constituents were truly affected by the Fox programming blackout on Cablevision systems, has joined Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, whose constituents were not, in supporting reform legislation to prevent future such blackouts.

"The FCC has made it clear that it needs tools to protect consumers in these disputes," Lautenberg said in a statement. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski agreed because, he said, the FCC's hands are tied. The time has come, he said, "for Congress to revisit the current retransmission law and assess whether changes in the marketplace call for new tools to strike the appropriate balance of private negotiations and consumer protection."

For more:
- see this story

Related articles:
The power of sports: Kerry advances anti-blackout bill
Kerry: New laws needed to 'protect consumers' from 'titans of the new economy'




Suggested Articles

Comcast is calling on its cable brethren, Charter and Cox, for a new initiative called On Addressability focused on building a “sound, scalable and sustainable…

NCC Media and OpenAP are teaming up to allow national advertisers to use OpenAP’s audience segment definitions when buying across NCC Media’s linear, VOD and…

Comcast is launching new controls for its X1 television service that will allow people with certain disabilities to operate their cable TV systems using their…