How can US Senators be so unclear about the meaning of the laws they write?

Today Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, who not coincidentally chairs the antitrust subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked NBC to explain why certain Olympic events, available on, can only be viewed there after you prove you have a subscription to a pay-TV service.


Let’s see:

  • NBC’s ownership of paid-only television channels to augment their over-the-air broadcast stations was approved by the United States Congress. Congress didn’t think approving that was antitrust
  • Not all events can possible be broadcast on the free channels; there just isn’t enough time
  • Presumably, Mr. Kohl doesn’t believe that Congress or anyone else should dictate to NBC which programming goes on which channels

So if an event is only available on a paid channel, is it unreasonable to make that event available to on-line viewers only if they have those channels?

The question was rhetorical; “no” is the only answer to choose from.

Do I like that I can’t have everything I want for free? Of course not. But the business person in me wants Congress to keeps their hands off the operation of businesses and the way they manage business change.

And for members of Congress to understand their own jobs.

Hmm . . . maybe I’m just cranky that the Olympics are almost over . . .

Share This