Recently Joe wrote an article that said that Major League Baseball was discussing an exclusive TV contract with DirecTV. Under this agreement only DirecTV subscribers could purchase the MLB Extra Innings package.
I for one am very tired of major sports leagues acting like monopolists. If they choose this role, then they should be regulated and their anti-competitive actions should be estopped by the Justice Department’s anti-trust divsion. Of course we all know what the chances of that happening during the next two years are…you have a better chance of winning the lottery!
Fortunately Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) has decided to go to bat for sports fans. Specter has announced that he will introduce legislation that will eliminate the NFL’s antitrust exemption. Baseball also has such an exemption and both sports have the right to “choose” whom they will broadcast with under the 1961 Sports Broadcasting Act. Furthermore, baseball is also protected under a 1922 Supreme Court ruling which decrees that major league baseball does not constitute interstate commerce. I do not believe that decision would be upheld if it were contested in today’s courts.
Sports fans should not be muscled into choosing their television provider because of these draconian arrangements. I commend Senator Specter’s efforts and urge all of you to support choice and contact your elected officials in this respect. I also urge you to contact firstname.lastname@example.org and tell him what you think about exclusive contracts!