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No baseball on TV unites members of Congress

If health care widened the chasm between the parties, maybe baseball can bring them back together.

Six North Carolina Congressmen, three Democrats and three Republicans, sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission chairman urging a swift end to a long-running dispute between Time Warner Cable and the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN).

MASN has the rights to broadcast Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals games. The channel also shows college football and basketball games.

Time Warner wants to put the channel on a more expensive programming tier while MASN says it deserves to be included in a basic cable package.

As N&O columnist Luke DeCock notes, resolution is now in the hands of the FCC. 

The dispute between MASN, the network that carries the Baltimore Orioles
and Washington Nationals, and the cable giant has dragged on through
arbitrators and government agencies long enough to buy a few dozen
lawyers a few dozen new yachts. Every decision MASN won, Time Warner
would appeal. Litigation spawned litigation.

As this latest baseball season without baseball on basic cable
approaches, Time Warner hasn't done a thing to slow the process down
lately. As trendy as it is these days, blame the government.

That's where the members of Congress come in. Republican U.S. Reps. Howard Coble and Walter Jones joined Democratic U.S. Reps. Mike McIntyre and G.K. Butterfield and Sens. Richard Burr (Republican) and Kay Hagan (Democrat) in signing a letter urging the FCC to end the dispute.

"Although you have acknowledged the need to resolve this dispute, it has been pending for more than a year and we would like to know when our constituents can expect some final resolution?" they wrote in a letter to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski.



Document(s):
FCC_letter.pdf


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