The NFL received Mon its 1st official state govt ear concerning the NFL Net/big cable carriage fight, and league commish Roger Goodell and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones used the forum to, not surprisingly, pillory cable. The TX Cable Assoc was there to bite back and present its own case in front of the state’s House Cmte on Regulated Industries, and those in attendance and viewing online were inundated by red pro-cable shirts—ironically amid an issue that has left many people seeing the same color. As the attire touted Time Warner Cable’s NFLBadCall.com Website, the cmte sought above all to determine the state government’s jurisdiction over this private-market dispute. No doubt this particular determination will also be critical in WI and IN, where similar hearings are set for Dec 20 and early next year, respectively. “This was not our original plan,” said Goodell. “We are not looking for government intervention; we are looking for a negotiated outcome.” The cable industry countered with TX Cable Assoc vp Todd Baxter and attorney Howard Symons. Symons proffered 2 main points: that any state legislature is pre-empted by the Act regarding issues such as this, and that the NFL’s state-geared proposals are not content neutral and therefore unconstitutional. The state avenue taken by NFL Net is a “desperate attempt to have you address their business plan deficiencies,” said Baxter. Some cmte members mentioned the numerous responses and/or concerns they have received from their constituencies, although it was unclear which side is more popular. 1 member said he gets a lot of calls despite his area’s access to the net’s games, while another noted the numerous cable defectors on his block since those games began airing.

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