Here’s an issue that unites Democrats and Republicans in Massachusetts: Lawmakers there are virtually begging DirecTV and Sunbeam Television to end their contract standoff — or at least let Boston-area satellite subscribers see their hometown New England Patriots meet the New York Giants in the Super Bowl on February 5. It would be “almost unthinkable” to have local residents miss the game, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) said in a letter today to the companies. On January 14, the TV station owner took down its Boston NBC affiliate WHDH and CW affiliate WLVI — as well as Miami’s Fox affiliate WSVN. It wants higher fees for the stations; DirecTV says the price hike comes to 300% — more than it’s willing to pay. “If people in Boston miss the Super Bowl this year because of this dispute, I can assure you that it will lead more and more people to throw up their hands and say, ‘a pox upon both of their houses’,” Kerry wrote. Although he can’t force the companies to end the dispute he says that he will “continue to work to urge the FCC to ensure that access to major live events for hundreds of thousands or millions of people not become a recurring tool for leverage in these negotiations.” Kerry’s letter follows similar messages from Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and the Massachusetts House delegation asking the companies to settle before kickoff. DirecTV wrote back that it would like to air the game and awaits “confirmation from Sunbeam Television that they are onboard with Senator Kerry’s solution.”
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