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Rupert is a FOX but Time Warner was a Weasel – Part 3: Red, White & Football

Posted on January 6 2010 2:00 pm
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Senator John Kerry didn’t want Time Warner Cable and News Corp. messing up everyone's New Year's Day football plans

Click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2

New Year’s Day came complete with hangover remedies and football…but no government assistance required, thank you very much. We should thank the gods of television for the latter because John Kerry was willing to invoke Capitol Hill to make sure no American would be deprived of the pigskin classics.

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) didn’t want Time Warner Cable and News Corp.’s feud messing up everyone’s New Year’s Day football plans.  And he felt no compunction about involving the federal government in what should have been a private negotiation between two companies

Kerry is the chair of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communication, Technology and the Internet – and also acts as though Americans have a god-given right to watch football on cable.  As the lawful negotiations continued late last month the senator decided to involve himself and the government in the process.

Kerry wrote to the heads of both FOX and Time Warner Cable and according to the LA Times,

“encouraged them to resolve their spat by New Year’s Day so viewerships of the big college football games aren’t disrupted.”

Of course you and I might call these negotiations the free market system at work, but Kerry calls it a ‘spat’.  The most puzzling part though is that while acknowledging that this was a private negotiation, Kerry wrote:

“If both parties conclude that the best alternative to a negotiated agreement is to have screens go dark for consumers, then they will have neglected the core interests of the millions of households that subscribe to Time Warner Cable in affected markets.”

Football on New Year’s Day is in the “core interest of millions of households”?  Really?  Local news is obviously in the core interest, but football? Not so much so.  Thanks for the offer of FCC arbitration Senator Kerry – but this negotiation didn’t really need a bailout.

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