Interests on both sides of the debate on why the Big Ten and NFL networks aren't on several cable TV networks comes to the Capitol. Representative from networks, the NFL, UW-Madison, and the cable industry were on hand for a legislative hearing at the Capitol Thursday, on a bill that would create an arbitration process for disputes between video providers and networks.
NFL Network CEO Steve Bornstein says it's needed to help settle their current debate with several large cable providers. Networks such as Time Warner and Charter, who have a large Wisconsin presence, have been unable to reach a broadcast agreement with the networks.
The Wisconsin Cable Communications Association's Tom Moore says the proposal is one-sided and would only benefit networks by forcing providers to accept programming. Moore says networks already have a way to resolve disputes with the FCC on the federal level, so the state legislation is not needed.
The NFL and Big Ten Networks have reached deals with several smaller cable and satellite providers in Wisconsin, but remain at odds with larger cable companies. Both sides have accused the other of not being open to compromise on the issue.