John Kerry said on Wednesday that he intends to seek answers from the FCC at a hearing on Thursday about a pending deal with DirectTV that would make it harder for baseball fans to watch their favorite teams. Personally, I’m not a sports fan, but if I were this would piss me off…
“Extra Innings” is a service that allows viewers to watch games involving teams not in their local markets. In past years, the service has been available through a range of providers, but a pending deal would make the service only available to DirecTV subscribers.
According to Kerry’s press office, the “Extra Innings” baseball package to DirectTV is part of “a $700 million exclusive deal.” In the last five years, the “Extra Innings package has been available to 75 million people,” but if the deal “goes through, the baseball package will be available to the 15 million people who have DirectTV.”
“I am opposed to anything that deprives people of reasonable choices. In this day and age, consumers should have more choices – not fewer. I’d like to know how this serves the public – a deal which will force fans to subscribe to DirectTV in order to tune in to their favorite players. A Red Sox fan ought to be able to watch their team without having to switch to DirectTV,” said Kerry.
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Kevin Martin, is a witness at a hearing tomorrow of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Kerry is a member of the committee.