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Sen. Kerry to challenge MLB TV package on satellite

1/31/2007 - MLB

WASHINGTON -- A proposal to make Major League Baseball's
"Extra Innings" exclusive to DirecTV has drawn the ire of Sen.
John Kerry.

The Massachusetts Democrat said he plans to raise the matter
with the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission at a
hearing Thursday.

"I am opposed to anything that deprives people of reasonable
choices," Kerry said in a statement. "In this day and age,
consumers should have more choices -- not fewer. I'd like to know
how this serves the public -- a deal that will force fans to
subscribe to DirecTV in order to tune in to their favorite players.
A Red Sox fan ought to be able to watch their team without having
to switch to DirecTV."

"Extra Innings" is a service that allows viewers to watch
games involving teams not in their local markets. In past years,
the service has been available through a range of providers, but a
pending deal would make the service only available to DirecTV
subscribers.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is a scheduled witness at Thursday's
hearing of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.