Patriots vs. Giants

Vermont's congressional delegation asked the National Football League to broadcast the Dec. 29 New England Patriots-New York Giants game in Vermont. The season finale may be seen in Boston and New York for free, but not in most of Vermont, where fans are caught in the middle of a fight between the football league and cable television industry. "What we now have are two very powerful and wealthy special interests, the NFL and the cable companies, squabbling over who is going to be making more mo

Vermont's congressional delegation asked the National Football League to broadcast the Dec. 29 New England Patriots-New York Giants game in Vermont. The season finale may be seen in Boston and New York for free, but not in most of Vermont, where fans are caught in the middle of a fight between the football league and cable television industry. "What we now have are two very powerful and wealthy special interests, the NFL and the cable companies, squabbling over who is going to be making more money out of this game," Sanders said.

"Years ago the federal government gave the NFL an exemption from certain anti-trust laws and taxpayers have helped build football stadiums all across the country. In exchange, shouldn't we expect that loyal fans are able to see games like this on normal broadcast channels or the most basic tier of cable service? I really don't think that's asking so much.

"Right now the cable companies and the NFL are blaming each other when in reality they are both to blame. This is a problem that is happening all over the country and I think it shows that unless this problem is worked out soon, Congress may need to step in reexamine what kind of protections the NFL deserves and what kind of new regulations we may need to impose on them and the cable companies.

While, perhaps, not one of the major issues facing humanity, a lot of Vermonters and football fans across the country are going to be disappointed if they miss one of the big games of the regular NFL season.

To read the delegation letter to the NFL commissioner, click here.