RE: Oregonians "right" to view Trailblazer and College games...
I know I am the LAST person to make a comment on this topic--I plan on letting my TV go blank when my rabbit ears stop working--but I am sympathetic to the view that fans do have a "right" to view those games for two reasons.
First, the Blazers (and especially the state colleges) receive an ENOURMOUS amount of government support, in terms of subsidy for arenas and direct state assistance to keep the product going. Otherwise, the colleges couldn't field teams and the Blazers would move to some southern city. So, because there is public funding, that creates a reciporical obligation to provide access to the product--after all, Oregonians are paying for it, even if they don't buy any tickets.
Second, the model of a "free market" does not work for the media. For example, if I think Minute Maid charges too much for lemonade, I can set up a lemonade stand in my front yard and compete with that corporation. However, if I think Comcast is doing a lousy job, I can't buy for any amount of money a broadcast frequency and set up a competing network. When Congress set up the FCC to pass out the limited number of broadcast frequencies, the FCC was directed to administer the brodcast licenses "in the public interest." Part of the "public interest" is (arguably) being able to watch the Blazers, UO and Oregon State sports teams--if you're willing to pay the price.
If those sports are not available at any price, then those broadcasters are not acting in the interest of the public.....
So for those two reasons--the high level of public dollars going to those sports teams, and the "public interest" mandate to broadcasters--I would argue that sports fans do have a good argument that they have the right to view those games.
posted 4 years, 5 months ago
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