P.S.--Don't watch "Seinfeld"
The way the Rev. Al Sharpton tells it, you'd think that the Declaration of Independence asserts the inalienable right to life, liberty and cheap cable television:
You would think that a channel called the NFL Network would have a lot of game coverage, but really it only offers eight games each week -- games that have been rescheduled to Thursday and Saturday nights and that do not even feature your home team. For only eight extra games, the NFL Network wants to quadruple its rates to nearly a dollar per subscriber per month, digging even deeper into working families' wallets.
Sports teams and leagues have been creating their own TV networks for years. But this NFL power grab has even prompted Congress to question if the league is violating the Sherman Antitrust Act by using its monopoly control over pro-football television rights to force unreasonable price hikes on consumers. If the NFL -- the fattest cat of all among sports leagues -- gets away with bamboozling consumers, then every sport will be emboldened to follow suit, littering our cable bills with additional price increases.
That is why Time Warner and Cablevision have decided not to carry the network, arguing that most viewers -- including most football fans -- would not want to be forced to pay premium fees for a few games in which they may have little or no interest. The NFL has demanded that cable carriers put the NFL Network in basic channel lineups, meaning everyone pays the price, even viewers who don't watch football.
I suppose we should be glad that he's execrating the NFL and not trying to provoke a race war. (I wonder if Time Warner and Cablevision are signing any checks for Al.) By the way, Chris Briem over at NullSpace tells us that Pennsylvania's own senior senator, Arlen Specter, is leading the charge to strip the NFL of its antitrust exemption.
Um, isn't there a war on?