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House Telecommunications & Internet Subcommittee Sets Sports Hearing

The House Telecommunications & Internet Subcommittee will hold a hearing on competition in sports marketing Wednesday, March 5.

No witness list has been released yet, but the hearing will be Webcast.

The subcommittee is chaired by Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who has been keenly interested in the issue, most notably weighing in with the National Football League and cable operators over the effect of their carriage-negotiation impasse over the New England Patriots’ last game of the season at the New York Giants.

That game was eventually simulcast on an unprecedented two TV networks, as well as carried on NFL Network, after pressure was put on by Markey and others.

Access to sports programming is also part of a larger access-to-programming debate involving how much control consolidated media companies exercise over the carriage of their programming or the programming of others -- an issue that prompted the Federal Communications Commission to put temporary access-to-programming conditions on Liberty Media's purchase of DirecTV, as it had on News Corp.'s, as well as other media mergers.