Sometimes we think if we scour the Bill of Rights closely enough, we will find a clause describing the inalienable right of all Americans to watch to sporting events of their choosing on whatever media is capable of carrying them. Constitutionally-guaranteed or not, the topic of "Competition in the Sports Programming Marketplace" is on the docket for the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet next week. Ed Markey (D-MA) and members of his Capitol Hill bailiwick will tee it up Wednesday, 3/5/08 at 9:30AM Eastern. The witness panel has not yet been revealed.
RBR/TVBR observation: If we don’t find the Constitutional clause we’re looking for, we suggest putting one in there. We’ll call it the First and Ten Amendment. No sports broadcast rights holder shall deny rebroadcast rights to any other sports rights wannahave; nor shall sporting events with play-off implications be interrupted for messages concerning minor events such as terrorist attacks and impending tornado strikes; nor shall sports bars be allowed to close or turn off their receivers while West Coast games are continuing into overtime or extra innings, as the case may be. It’ll have the necessary 67% of Congress approve it as soon as it hits the floor, and will be returned to Washington by the 75% of state legislatures needed for ratification within three business days, even if it means reconvening the legislatures in two thirds of that 75%.