The power of sports: Kerry advances anti-blackout bill

Once again it appears that television--at least in the minds of the nation's legislators--is seen as a necessity. And, it might be noted, necessities like electricity and voice services are regulated.

Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry (the former presidential candidate) is so enraged with the Cablevision-Fox Networks dispute that he's promised to file a bill that would prevent programmers from blacking out their content on cable systems during retransmission disputes. It all comes down to sports, it seems."Many football fans had to leave home, denied the service they faithfully pay for and even bringing their children to bars to watch the game," Kerry wrote to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

He's proposing to introduce a bill after mid-term elections next month that would let the FCC referee disputes, impose fines or order binding arbitration.

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