December 27, 2007

Property Rights? Right to Contract?

I laughed when I heard Senator John Kerry pontificating on people's needing cable to watch the Pats-Giants game. (How's the Deep Thoughts line go? "We all laughed at Grandpa when he got up at 6:00 AM to go fishing, but nobody was laughing that night when he came home with some whore he'd picked up in town...)

I ain't laughin' neither. The league has capitulated to Congressional pressure to give away something it purchased. Mortman has the details in Are You Ready for Some Congress? He links to the NYTimes:

The league's decision to simulcast the game came amid mounting Congressional pressure to make the potentially historic game more broadly available.

The Connecticut delegation wrote to Commissioner Roger Goodell that the league’s definition of home markets was "unduly narrow," leaving fans in cities around the state where loyalties are divided between their Giants and Patriots, without the same local broadcast option afforded the New York and Boston markets.

The Rhode Island delegation also protested the league’s market designations that would have deprived Patriots' fans in Providence and throughout the state of seeing their team go undefeated unless they subscribed to DirecTV or the Dish Network, or got the NFL Netword from their local cable operators.

The league was also warned by Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania and the ranking member of the committee, that it was "exercising its substantial market power to the detriment of consumers."

Mortman is prepared to adjust to Our New Congressional Overlords:
With this kind of meddling going on, I’m now resigned to joining the bandwagon. My new position: I hope that Congress demand the Washington Redskins beat the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. I’d settle for a sense of the Congress resolution, but if they want to withhold funds from the Iraq war effort until the Redskins win the Super Bowl, I’m fine with that.

I just hope I can interest some of them in hockey...

110th Congress Posted by John Kranz at December 27, 2007 7:00 PM

As I left in comments on a friend's blog, it's just the latest legislative blackmail.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at December 28, 2007 9:59 AM

Karol linked to here, filled with comments from all these goddamn morons who like to *force* others to provide them free goods and services. Taxes aren't the only way.

You have such ignorance as, "Come 2009 anyone who does not have cable service will not be able to see any television, as broadcast TV will no longer exist." As if the networks were doing this, not government (that decided to terminate regular broadcasting so it could sell off the airwaves).

I'd better stop now before I get really, really pissed off.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at December 28, 2007 9:59 AM

I was reading the comments on the second link (and yours on the first, Perry, well done!).

I don't know if the moonbat ones are the worst, or the more moderate voices who really seem to believe that they somehow own football or have a right to the NFL's private property. One guy starts "With all the money we pay into the NFL..." Huh? If you hold season tickets, you can attend the game in person. If you're a big advertiser, I'm sure you will be able to score a skybox (my Advertising-Agency-Owning-Dad used to get me in to watch the network feed of blacked out games).

Many commenters point out that Senator Kerry (and we) have bigger things to worry about, but I find it pretty disturbing. Hernando De Soto said that the magic of capitalism is built on property rights. This is a shameful episode.

Enjoy the game!

Posted by: jk at December 28, 2007 12:31 PM | What do you think? [3]