Originally published: August 13, 2010
Last updated: August 13, 2010 - 11:23am
It has been suggested that if the Super Bowl ever headed to cable, all hell would break loose in Washington. Congress would pass all sorts of roadblocks, courts would issue injunctions, and the FCC would muscle in. This appears to be one reason why Dick Ebersol found himself meeting with FCC staffers and a Department of Justice attorney August 11.
As the Final Four goes to TBS and the Bowl Championship Series to ESPN, it begs the question of whether all premiere sports properties are en route to pay TV? ESPN chief George Bodenheimer stoked the fire recently, saying he "certainly wouldn't rule it out" as far as the Super Bowl coming to his network. But Ebersol, who heads NBC Universal's sports and Olympics programming, sought to assure regulators that the recent past is not prologue. With the FCC and Department of Justice reviewing the proposed Comcast-NBCU merger, Ebersol (and others from NBCU) effectively promised that the transaction would not bring the World Series to Comcast's Versus network.