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The W - Football - NJ Senator unhappy with NFL Network blacking out Rutgers bowl
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CRZ
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Since: 9.12.01
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
Funny. And sad. Hey, good luck with that, Senator.

http://www.nypost.com/seven/12072006/business/political_football_business_peter_lauria.htm


    POLITICAL FOOTBALL

    DON'T DARKEN MY KNIGHTS: N.J. POL

    By PETER LAURIA

    December 7, 2006 -- New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg wants his Rutgers bowl game - and he's calling on the NFL Network to let him have it.

    "Rutgers fans should be able to watch Rutgers play in their bowl game - period," Lautenberg (D-N.J.) said.

    "The fans should not be used as a bargaining chip in the dispute between the NFL Network and cable companies," he said in a letter sent yesterday to the NFL Network urging it to allow the game to be shown on local television in New Jersey.

    Coming off arguably the best season in the school's history, the Scarlet Knights will be playing in this year's Texas Bowl on Dec. 28.

    Rutgers fans won't be able to see the game since the NFL Network, which holds exclusive rights to the Insight Bowl and the Texas Bowl, is currently blacked out of most of New York and New Jersey due to a dispute over how much Time Warner Cable and Cablevision will pay to carry the station. Satellite services are currently carrying the NFL Network.

    "Because a majority of New Jerseyans, even most who pay for cable service, cannot watch the NFL Network, I urge you to permit this game to be shown on local broadcast television in New Jersey," wrote Lautenberg, who is a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees cable and broadcast television.

    "We received Senator Lautenberg's letter and share his desire to have the Rutgers bowl game seen by as many of the team's fans as possible," said an NFL Network spokesman in a statement. "As the Senator recognizes, we have repeatedly offered to make not only this Rutgers game, but all NFL Network programming, available broadly throughout New Jersey.

    "We regret that Time Warner and Cablevision have not yet agreed to carry NFL Network, but we will to work as hard as we can to resolve this commercial dispute as soon as possible. We hope that Time Warner and Cablevision will show the same concern for the fans and resume negotiations with us promptly."

    After several months of failed talks prior to the NFL Network's premiere broadcast on Thanksgiving night, the two sides are currently at a stalemate with a return to the negotiating table nowhere in sight.

    "Just as the NFL Network makes Giants or Jets games available in the New York market, and any other NFL team in any other home market available, they should certainly do the same for Rutgers," a Cablevision spokesman said.




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RYDER FAKIN
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Since: 21.2.02
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.63
In a related story...

Click Here (washingtonpost.com)

Specter Wants to Revisit NFL's Antitrust Status

Associated Press

Friday, December 8, 2006; Page E05

The NFL's ability to negotiate exclusive sports packages is under fire from the outgoing chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) twice said he would introduce legislation in the next session aimed at eliminating the league's freedom from antitrust laws.

Specter said the NFL should not use the exemption to negotiate exclusive programming packages such as DirecTV's Sunday Ticket, which allows viewers to watch teams outside their regional market.

"As I look at what the NFL is doing today with the NFL channel with the DirecTV . . . a lot of people, including myself, would like to be able to have that ticket," Specter said.

But the 1961 law that gives the NFL this freedom should not apply to DirecTV because it is not "sponsored programming," said Stephen Ross, a law professor at Penn State and chair of the school's sports law institute. He said Specter might be using the threat of legislation to pressure the NFL to make changes voluntarily.

Access to out-of-market football games was one of many consumer fairness issues addressed during the hearing. Another hot topic was whether cable providers should be forced to share sports broadcasting rights with every service provider in an area.

David Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast Corp., said his company has not made a local Philadelphia sports network it owns available to DirecTV because it is one way his company can stay competitive with the Sunday Ticket package.

"What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander," he said.

* * * * *

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Since: 24.3.02
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.12
    Originally posted by Arlen Specter
    "As I look at what the NFL is doing today with the NFL channel with the DirecTV . . . a lot of people, including myself, would like to be able to have that ticket,"


Is he talking about NFL Sunday Ticket, or NFL Network? I can't tell.
thecubsfan
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Since: 10.12.01
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 10.00
I don't think Senator Spector is too sure, but the Anti-Trust bit is about Sunday Ticket.



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kwik
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Since: 5.9.02
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.66
You'd think at the very least that they would make the game available to an over-the-air channel in the area, like they are doing with the NFL games.

In any event, I've heard various "experts" saying that the NFL has been hurt in the fact that none of the Thursday night games has been a "must-see" so far, and that most of the viewing public isn't going to raise high holy hell until they miss the game that their team is playing in. That's probably the case too. We had the NFL Network here until Adelphia died and left us with Time Warner, and now 4 months have passed and there's STILL nothing on channel 22. Since I'm not in NYC, I'm probably going to wind up missing Giants-Skins on the 31st.

I've always wondered why the NFL has decided to keep the Sunday ticket Dish-exclusive anyway, I'd think they could make a killing selling the out-of-market games on pay-per-view for 9.95 a pop.



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Since: 11.1.02
From: Austin, TX

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#6 Posted on
I really hope they do put Sunday Ticket available on regular cable instead of DirecTV only. I just moved to Austin from the Chicago area, and miss watching Bears games at home. We have been lucky enough to have several national games, so on the off chance the Texans or Cowboys (or Titans sometimes, Austinites love Vince Young) aren't on, the Bears have actually been on down here a few times. Otherwise we go out to watch them. I would gladly pay the fee for Sunday Ticket, but I have very little interest in going with DirecTV, so hopefully something shakes out of all this and they will offer it to Time-Warner, Comcast, and others. I will pay for your services, NFL, if only you would make them available!

Concerning the Rutgers game, where does the NFL think they are going to get any ratings from? I know they have this big dispute with the cable providers, but I have to think the New Jersey area would be the biggest market (sorry, Manhattan, KS) for watching the Texas Bowl.



-The Big Kat
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wmatistic
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.08
I like how the NFL has long had a policy of not scheduling games on Saturday's during the college footall season so as to not do anything that might hurt the college game.

And yet here we are with this situation.

I wonder how many years left until the Superbowl becomes a PPV event?
JayJayDean
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Since: 2.1.02
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.53
    Originally posted by wmatistic
    I wonder how many years left until the Superbowl becomes a PPV event?


I'm pretty sure the fact that companies pay upward of $3 million for 30 seconds of Super Bowl airtime means that won't be happening.



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Since: 7.11.02
From: Riderville, SK

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.14
    Originally posted by wmatistic
    I wonder how many years left until the Superbowl becomes a PPV event?


Never. There's no way that there would be enough PPV buys at enough per buy to ever make up what the networks pay for it, not to mention the gigantic hit to goodwill.

The Super Bowl is profitable for every individual involved; the NFL gets tons of cash, the networks get their investments back with the huge ad dollars (not to mention the big boost airing programs after the Super Bowl can provide), and the advertisers get tons of eyeballs during the program while also having a longer lifespan of memorability than 99% of any other ads ever acheive. There is no reason to ever rock that boat.



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Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.12
    Originally posted by wmatistic
    I like how the NFL has long had a policy of not scheduling games on Saturday's during the college footall season so as to not do anything that might hurt the college game.

    And yet here we are with this situation.


They don't show games on Saturdays due to Federal regulations. Specifically, the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961, which prohibits the NFL from broadcasting on Fridays after 6 pm, and on Saturdays (between the 2nd Saturday in September and the 2nd Saturday in December) to any place that is within 75 miles of any college or high school football game (with certain exceptions).

If it weren't for that, you'd probably see games on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday throughout the entire year.
redsoxnation
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Since: 24.7.02

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.79
Thanks to the NFL Network, the traditional Saturday afternoon December games are now gone.
You won't see the Sunday Ticket as part of anything other than DirectTV until the current TV contracts that just began conclude, as exclusivity is in the agreement.
I'd take Arlen a little more seriously if he decided to do this while he was in charge of the committee the past few years. He might have had more sway in that scenario.
In regards to the State University of New Jersey: Beat a mediocre Cincy team and you wouldn't be stuck in the Texas Bowl. The Atlantic-10 Conference in basketball screwed themselves in a similar manner by agreeing to a TV deal with CSTV, which conveniently isn't available in any Atlantic-10 markets. Notre Dame football fans had to deal with it for the Air Force game, as that was a CSTV broadcast due to an agreement with the Mountain West Conference. These companies pick up these packages in order to force their way onto more cable systems. The reason why it won't happen with Comcast and the NFL Network is because Comcast is pissed the Thursday Night/Saturday Night package went to the NFL Network rather than to Comcast.
And, should you be looking for college football on the evening of the Texas Bowl, ESPN is carrying Texas A@M vs. California in the Holiday Bowl, which should be a good game, providing Cal decides not to mail it in like the last time they went to the Holiday Bowl.

(edited by redsoxnation on 11.12.06 1415)
wmatistic
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Since: 2.2.04
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.08
Well today it was announced that the NFL is offering one free week of it's programming to two cable companies, Time Warner and Cablevision. The dates are Dec 24th ot 30th, so yes that includes the Rutgers bowl game. Although it does mention that the Saturday NFL games will not be shown.
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