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Kerry: MLB and DirecTV Deal "Probably Legal" Print
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Written by The Staff   
Monday, 26 March 2007 08:07

DirecTV and Extra InningsTomorrow, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), will chair a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the deal to make MLB Extra Innings exclusively available on DirecTV. As reported by Eric Fisher for the Sports Business Daily:

Today, Kerry held a teleconference today with reporters in advance of the hearing. While Kerry said he remains concerned about the deal, he said that the structure of it was "probably legal" and did not seem to come forward and say that there were anti-trust implications in the deal. "While not everybody uses [Extra Innings], the access to it is important," Kerry said. "[The MLB-DirecTV deal is] an attempt to corner the market and limit fans. And I'm concerned about that."

As further reported by Fisher, MLB president and COO, Bob DuPuy talked to Kerry via phone this morning in advance of his testifying before committee tomorrow and said, "this is not about games being unavailable, but being unavailable on one particular delivery system."

Ronald Blum of AP further reports:

"Our hope is that iN Demand and Dish opt in and that all fans have an opportunity to receive the `Extra Innings' package," said Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer. "This is not about iN Demand or Dish not being able to match the DirecTV offer, it is about their willingness to do so. This was a negotiation at arms length over several months. DirecTV set the market. It is up to the other bidders to meet it."

DuPuy is to testify at the hearing along with DirecTV president Chase Carey, iN Demand president Robert Jacobson, EchoStar president Carl Vogel and Penn State law professor Stephen Ross.

"Fans are pretty discerning," Kerry said. "I think they'll have a terrific ability to say, `Well, that's crock or this isn't,' and kind of get a read on it."

 

 
 
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