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Public Statements

Letters to Mr. Roger Goodell, Commissioner National Football League; Mr. David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President of Comcast Corporation; Mr. Glenn...

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Senator John Kerry sent a letter to National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell and to cable executives from Time Warner and Comcast today, asking them to meet with Kerry next week. Kerry is inviting the executives to Washington with the goal of brokering a deal between the League and the cable companies, over how to ensure that a maximum number of viewers are able to watch the December 29th game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots. The game is currently scheduled to be televised on the NFL Network. As a result of the current standoff between the League and Cable, millions of fans across the country are unable to view certain games on the NFL network without paying extra for a premium tier.

Last week, Kerry wrote to cable and the NFL and asked that the two sides come to an agreement quickly to ensure that fans across the country are able to tune in to this potentially historic football game. The Patriots are aiming to finish the season as the first team to go undefeated since the Miami Dolphins accomplished the feat in 1972.

Kerry has strongly advocated for sports fans in the past, most recently when he held a hearing on a similar deal between Major League Baseball and major cable corporations earlier this year. The companies eventually reached a deal that accommodated fans.

Below is the text of Kerry's letters:

December 12, 2007

Mr. Roger Goodell
Commissioner
National Football League
280 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017

Dear Commissioner Goodell,

Thank you for your prompt response to my letter of last week. I appreciate the expressed willingness of both the NFL and the cable companies involved in the NFL Network dispute to reach an agreement regarding the broadcast of the December 29th game between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants.

The Patriots' pursuit of a perfect season has attracted a legion of new fans to the sport and has been an important financial boost for the NFL. Given the unique circumstances surrounding this game, we cannot allow proprietary interests to trump commercial interests and prevent an agreement from being reached in time to ensure the broadest possible level of viewership. The popularity of the National Football League was built around the accessibility of the game to the fans. If possible, such a principle should be upheld with respect to a game of this significance.

I remain hopeful that an agreement can be reached in time to ensure that a maximum number of Massachusetts residents, as well as football fans across the country, are able to view this game. Since time is of the essence, I would ask that representatives from the NFL, Time Warner and Comcast join me in a meeting next week in my Washington office to discuss potential solutions to this problem.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,


John F. Kerry

cc: David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation
Glenn Britt, President, Time Warner, Inc.

December 12, 2007

Mr. David L. Cohen
Executive Vice President
Comcast Corporation
1500 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Dear Mr. Cohen,

As you know, I sent a letter last week to National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell and National Cable and Telecommunications Association President Kyle McSlarrow urging the NFL and cable companies to work toward an agreement regarding the broadcast of the upcoming game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots. I appreciate the expressed willingness of both the NFL and the cable companies involved in the NFL Network dispute to reach an agreement.

The Patriots' pursuit of a perfect season has attracted a legion of new fans to the sport and has been an important financial boost for the NFL. Given the unique circumstances surrounding this game, we cannot allow proprietary interests to trump commercial interests and prevent an agreement from being reached in time to ensure the broadest possible level of viewership. The popularity of the National Football League was built around the accessibility of the game to the fans. If possible, such a principle should be upheld with respect to a game of this significance.

I remain hopeful that an agreement can be reached in time to ensure that a maximum number of Massachusetts residents, as well as football fans across the country, are able to view this game. Since time is of the essence, I would ask that representatives from the NFL, Time Warner, and Comcast join me in a meeting next week in my Washington office to discuss potential solutions to this problem

Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

John F. Kerry

cc: Roger Goodell, Commissioner, National Football League
Glenn Britt, President, Time Warner, Inc.

December 12, 2007

Mr. Glenn Britt
President
Time Warner Cable, Inc.
One Time Warner Center
North Tower, 17th Floor
New York, New York 10019

Dear Mr. Britt,

As you know, I sent a letter last week to National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell and National Cable and Telecommunications Association President Kyle McSlarrow urging the NFL and cable companies to work toward an agreement regarding the broadcast of the upcoming game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots. I appreciate the expressed willingness of both the NFL and the cable companies involved in the NFL Network dispute to reach an agreement.

The Patriots' pursuit of a perfect season has attracted a legion of new fans to the sport and has been an important financial boost for the NFL. Given the unique circumstances surrounding this game, we cannot allow proprietary interests to trump commercial interests and prevent an agreement from being reached in time to ensure the broadest possible level of viewership. The popularity of the National Football League was built around the accessibility of the game to the fans. If possible, such a principle should be upheld with respect to a game of this significance.

I remain hopeful that an agreement can be reached in time to ensure that a maximum number of Massachusetts residents, as well as football fans across the country, are able to view this game. Since time is of the essence, I would ask that representatives from the NFL, Time Warner, and Comcast join me in a meeting next week in my Washington office to discuss potential solutions to this problem.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

John F. Kerry

cc: Roger Goodell, Commissioner, National Football League
David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation


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