MA legislators try to end retrans dispute and save Super Bowl


Well, they aren’t trying to save the Super Bowl; the US Congressional delegation from the state of Massachusetts wants to make sure DirecTV subscribers can see their very own New England Patriots take on the New York Giants in the event. If held today, it wouldn’t happen because Sunbeam television stations are blacked out on the local DirecTV system.

Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) fired off a letter to the companies’ leaders, Edmund Ansin at Sunbeam and Michael D. White, urging them to do what is necessary to get NBC WHDH and CW WLVI back in the DirecTV lineup.

“I am concerned that my constituents in Boston have become leverage in a business negotiation,” wrote Brown. “I am not seeking to intervene in a private business transaction, but I do believe that my constituents should have access to television programming that they previously have had access to and have come to expect. It is outrageous that subscribers would pay hundreds of dollars a year for service and not get to watch the Super Bowl, the biggest television event of the year.”

He urged that the parties allow the stations to air while negotiations continue.

John Kerry (D-MA) fired off a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski asking for completion of a retransmission consent rulemaking, according to Hillicon Valley. He said that it’s the third year in a row he’s had to deal with a retransmission consent dispute.

Hillicon Valley also noted that member of the House, including Barney Frank (D-MA) and Edward Markey (D-MA), have asked the FCC to step in and help bring the impasse to an end.