Pol: MLB, DirecTV must play ball

Kerry has FCC looking at Extra Innings package

Federal regulators plan to investigate a $700 million deal that the nation's top satellite TV company plans to make with Major League Baseball, a senator said Thursday.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., has been pushing the FCC to look into the Extra Innings package because he thinks it will restrict baseball fans' ability to see their favorite games on TV.

In a letter to Kerry, FCC chairman Kevin Martin said he had requested additional information from DirecTV and MLB about the agreement.

"Once we have this information, we will report to you on the deal's implications for consumers and any recommended changes to the law to ameliorate any harm to consumers," Martin wrote.

Kerry said he is pleased that the commission is looking into the deal.

"It's good to know that (Martin) also has concerns about a deal that has the potential to deny choice to so many consumers — all apparently in the interest of a short-term profit for Major League Baseball," Kerry said. "I look forward to hearing a full response from the league and from DirecTV, and I remain open to working with them and other colleagues on any and all plans that furthers options for consumers and makes it easier for all of us to enjoy our national pastime."

Under the terms of the proposed deal, MLB's Extra Innings package would only be available to people with DirecTV. Kerry claims that the deal could affect as many as 50 million American viewers by making it hard or even impossible for them to subscribe to the service.