WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As the 2016 Major League Baseball season gets underway, Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) are attempting to interfere with a long-standing retransmission consent disagreement between Comcast and the YES Network, which broadcasts New York Yankees games, as well as Brooklyn Nets games and other local sports.
YES has been trying to force Comcast to increase payments by 33 percent to carry its network in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. However, Comcast made a business decision to discontinue carrying YES rather than cede to its demands for such outrageously high rates because more than “90 percent of 900,000 plus customers who receive YES Network didn’t watch the equivalent of even one quarter of those games.”
Rather than letting the marketplace work as it should, Sens. Blumenthal and Murphy are intervening on behalf of YES and demanding that Comcast pay the higher rates, or reimburse its subscribers for a network that few watch. They have demanded that the two businesses come to an agreement, as Sen. Blumenthal stated, “For companies of this size – and profitability – to be putting consumers in this position does a disservice to the men and women who faithfully paid their cable bills.”
CAGW President Tom Schatz said: “By putting their thumbs on the scale in the ongoing negotiations between Comcast and YES Network, the senators from Connecticut have ended up on the side of higher fees and TV bills for consumers, rather than lowering them. These ‘Connecticut Yankees’ should stay out of Comcast’s court. The rising cost of sports programming drives up TV bills for everyone, and efforts to hold down the rate of increase should be applauded by anyone who cares about the television viewing costs. Pressuring the parties to get back on the air at all costs is not the answer to retransmission disputes. They have worked out in the past between the parties and this dispute should not be an exception to that rule.”
Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.