Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) is trying to play mediator in the retransmission consent dispute between Time Warner Cable and News Corp., worried that the fight will disrupt New Year’s Day football games, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In a letter to the two companies, Kerry, who is chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communication, Technology, and the Internet, urged a resolution by New Year’s Day, because, "We do not want consumers waking up on the first day of the new year wanting to watch football and instead finding that they have to take a trip to the electronics store to purchase a digital receiver in the hope that they receive a clear over-the-air signal.”
He added that, "If both parties conclude that the best alternative to a negotiated agreement is to have screens go dark for consumers, then they will have neglected the core interests of the millions of households that subscribe to Time Warner Cable in affected markets. As leaders of major companies that are FCC licensees and are obligated to serve the public interest, I hope and expect that you will resolve this matter consistent with those obligations."
Fox responded in a statement that it has been negotiating in good faith for months, and will continue to do so, while Time Warner Cable said that whether or not an agreement is reached is up to Fox.