FCC Investigating Proposed DirecTV "Extra Innings" Monopoly

John Kerry has released a letter from FCC chairman Kevin Martin announcing an investigation into a proposed deal that would give DirecTV exclusive rights to broadcast “Extra Innings,” a package which currently allows out-of-market baseball fans to watch their home team via cable or satellite. DirecTV has the exclusive rights to a similar package, “NFL Sunday Ticket.” That deal is not being investigated, sadly.

In his letter, Martin states:

I am concerned whenever consumers cannot purchase the programming they want or are forced to purchase programming they don’t want.

Hopefully this issue will lead to some further investigation of programming deals such as this, “national pastime” or no. —MEGHANN MARCO

FCC Letter (PDF) [John Kerry]

PREVIOUSLY:MLB Extra Innings Going to DirecTV?

Comments

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  1. sweetlyvicious says:

    Wow, Senators are addressed ‘The Honorable’? I thought the US didn’t have such honourifics for their representatives.

  2. robbie says:

    Technically the title can be ascribed to any elected official, including mayors, state representatives, etc.

  3. I am just glad the FCC has decided to look into something other than the appropriate amount of sideboob that can be shown between 9 and 10 pm.

  4. Next: Swift Boat Cable Subscribers for Truth

    “John Kerry lied about watching the Red Sox… I know, I was there, I saw what happened.

  5. dohtem says:

    I am concerned whenever consumers cannot purchase the programming they want or are forced to purchase programming they don’t want.

    Hey Mr. Martin, since we are on the subject. I pay for basic cable, I would like to pay a little less and do away with channels I never watch. HGTV, VH1, FOX News, Style, E!, etc. Any chance of hooking us up. I mean I’m being forced to pay for these channels just because I want ESPN.

  6. 44 in a Row says:

    In all seriousness, I’m glad they’re looking into this, because there are a lot of ways people can get screwed by this. It’s not just a free-market issue; these exclusive deals can wind up preventing people from having any way to watch their teams.

    Many people who rent apartments would be SOL; in Manhattan, for example, my apartment doesn’t face south, and doesn’t have any place in which I could mount a satellite dish, so it’s cable or nothing. And in San Diego (apropos of an article I read earlier), the Padres have an exclusive deal with a cable provider, meaning you have a choice between getting Extra Innings on satellite and not being able to watch the Padres, or getting the Padres (on cable) and not being able to watch any other teams.

  7. Lebo (in exile) says:

    This is the power of Red Sox Nation.

    I used to work at the Sox cable net and we’d get calls from all over the country from people who had Extra Innings. Think its a coincidence it’s John Kerry doing this? He’s protecting The Nation.

  8. critical_matt says:

    I guess I don’t understand the big deal here. Extra Innings allows you to see out of market games, it doesn’t have any effect for the teams in your own area.

    Are people arguing that MLB should let any cable system offer the service? I guess that makes some sense, but do you think you’ll get a better deal on Comcast…

    I’d love to be able to get a la carte cable. I only watch a few channels like most other people and could do without the 10 shopping channels I have to pay for every month.

  9. thrillhouse says:

    I’m glad that John Kerry finally found something else to be sour grapes about. This could be the defining moment of his political career.