Sports Fans Coalition Meets with FCC Republicans

Agenda includes impact of retrans disputes on fans
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The Sports Fans Coalition, a group standing up for fans sitting on couches, lounge chairs and stadium seats across the U.S., recently met with the FCC’s Republican commissioners and staff.

The SFC’s mission: To give sports fans “a voice in public policy proceedings impacting professional and collegiate games,” and, in this case, the media coverage of those games.

According to an FCC filing noting the meeting, topping the list was the impact of retransmission consent disputes on fans when games are taken off the air, a point the group made last week regarding the Fox/Dish carriage dispute.

Sports was a big topic of concern in Washington during the retrans battles between Sinclair and Mediacom and Time Warner and News Corp. at the end of last year. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) weighed in with warnings about viewers who could lose access to their colllege bowl games if the impasses continued into the New Year. Both were eventually resolved without any sports deprivation.

Also on the SFC’s agenda were discussions of the commission policy on sports blackouts and the migration of sports from broadcast to pay TV. That last issue has periodically flared up, though with the move of many big-ticket events to cable, it appears to be a tide that is no longer in danger of turning.

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