Committee Approves Cable Bill

Posted Wednesday --- October 31, 2007

Committee approves cable bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Legislature's finance committee has approved a bill supporters claim will improve competition in the cable television industry.

The state Department of Financial Institutions would license cable franchises, ending the 30-year-old practice of municipalities negotiating their own service agreements with cable companies.

Supporters say the measure will create competition and municipalities will still be able to collect money from cable companies.

Opponents say there's nothing in the bill that creates more competition. They also argue the bill doesn't cover the state's licensing expenses.

The Assembly passed the measure already but it still has to be approved by the Senate and governor.

AP

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Lawmakers introduce bill designed to help Packers, Badgers fans

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Legislature finally has a bill that Packers and Badgers fans can rally around.

The intent is to make the Big Ten Network and the NFL Network available on more cable networks across the state.

Two big upcoming games on the networks won't be viewable to most cable subscribers across the state. Wisconsin's game against Ohio State this Saturday is on the Big Ten Network, while the Packers-Cowboys match next month will be on the NFL Network.

The proposal would set up a system that would allow an arbitrator to settle disputes between the sports networks and cable companies.

Those disputes have kept the channels off of major cable networks serving Wisconsin. They are available on some satellite networks.

The proposal is being circulated among lawmakers to gather co-sponsors.

AP


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