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December 20, 2007
R.I. lawmakers ask NFL to put Pats finale on local TV
The Patriots are two games away from finishing the first 16-0 season in NFL history, and many fans in Rhode Island might not be able to see it happen.
In case you're unaware, the Pats' season finale is Saturday, Dec. 29, against the New York Giants, and it will be available locally only on Boston's Channel 5 and on the NFL Network, which is part of Cox's digital cable package.
Now, the four members of Rhode Island's congressional delegation have weighed in, sending a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell urging him to allow the game to be shown on a Rhode Island channel.
Click below to read the text of the letter, signed by Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, and Representatives Patrick Kennedy and James Langevin.
December 19, 2007
Mr. Roger Goodell
National Football League
280 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Dear Commissioner Goodell:
We write to express concern regarding the boundaries of the primary broadcast market for the New England Patriots for their upcoming game on Saturday, December 29th against the New York Giants.
As you know, the New England Patriots have an undefeated record with just two games remaining. The December 29th game has the potential to culminate in the Patriots having the first undefeated regular season in the NFL since 1972, and Patriots’ fans across New England are looking forward to cheering on their home team. However, as currently scheduled, only the residents of Boston and New York City will be able to see the game on free, over-the-air television, while Rhode Islanders and other fans across New England will only be able to view the game if they are subscribers to the NFL Network.
The New England Patriots are assuredly a regional team, with many loyal fans in the state of Rhode Island. The state welcomed the Patriots for many years when they held their training camp at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island, and Gillette Stadium is a short twenty-five minute drive from downtown Providence. Unfortunately, limiting transmission of the game to Boston excludes many of the team’s biggest fans from this event.
Therefore, we urge you to make the final game available on over-the-air television across New England to ensure that the region’s Patriots’ fans will be able to watch this highly anticipated game. Thank you for your attention to this matter, and we look forward to hearing from you.
U.S. Senator Jack Reed
U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Representative Patrick J. Kennedy
U.S. Representative James R. Langevin
Posted by Mike McDermott at 12:39 PM | Permalink
oh - here is a real surprise. the 4 ted kennedy/john kerry gophers band together for the common man - this is precious. what a publicity stunt. i would hate to think what would happen if ted kennedy and john kerry stopped short.
Posted by: sam the bam at December 20, 2007 5:05 PM
I guess if we cant get our beloved Patriots on TV here in RI which I hope I would; I can go to my parents in NH to watch it. But It would be nice to be able to stay at home!!!!
Posted by: lisa at December 21, 2007 6:51 AM