Baldwin Calls out NFL’s Poor Scheduling that Leaves Packers Fans High and Dry, and Reintroduces Go Pack Go Act
Ahead of conflicting Packers, Vikings, and Lions games this weekend, Baldwin rallies support for guaranteeing Packers broadcast for all Wisconsinites
WASHINGTON, D.C. (U.S. SENATOR TAMMY BALDWIN PRESS RELEASE) - Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) re-introduced her Go Pack Go Act, legislation to ensure all Wisconsinites can watch Green Bay Packers game broadcasts. Baldwin’s Go Pack Go Act requires cable and satellite providers to provide their Wisconsin subscribers with access to programming from broadcast television stations in a Wisconsin media market.
Senator Baldwin also called on the National Football League (NFL) to take better care of Packers fans when scheduling games and help ensure they are able to watch the Green and Gold. The ask of the NFL comes as the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, and Detroit Lions are all scheduled to play at the same time this weekend, leaving Packers fans in Western and Northern Wisconsin in jeopardy of being unable to access the Packers broadcast.
“As the only NFL team owned by the fans, the Green Bay Packers are beloved by Wisconsinites in every corner of our state. But on weeks like this one, where the Vikings and Lions are playing at the same time, thousands of Packers fans in Wisconsin could be denied the chance to see their team play,” said Senator Baldwin. “I’m proud to again introduce the Go Pack Go Act because every Packers fan across our state should be able to watch every Packers game. But, until that happens, I am calling on the NFL to do a better job scheduling games and help ensure every Wisconsinite that bleeds Green and Gold is able to watch their Green Bay Packers.”
In Wisconsin, more than 415,000 people live in 13 counties that have been assigned to an out-of-state market, in either Minnesota or Michigan. As a result, Wisconsinites in these counties cannot receive some, or any, TV broadcast stations based in Wisconsin. These Wisconsin residents may therefore lack access to programming most relevant to their Wisconsin communities – such as local news, information about local and state government, and sports. This means Green Bay Packers fans in 13 Wisconsin counties may end up with Minnesota Vikings or Detroit Lions games, not Packers games, when those teams are playing at the same time.
The Go Pack Go Act would require cable and satellite providers to provide their Wisconsin subscribers with access to programming from broadcast television stations in a Wisconsin media market. These local broadcasts may be more relevant to their daily lives and help them stay informed and entertained by Wisconsin-focused programming, including Packers games.
Packers fans in the following Wisconsin counties would benefit from Senator Baldwin’s Go Pack Go Act: Ashland, Bayfield, Douglas, Iron and Sawyer Counties in the Duluth-Superior media market; Barron, Burnett, Dunn, Polk, Pierce, St. Croix, and Washburn Counties in the Twin Cities media market; and Florence County in the Marquette, Michigan media market.
Ahead of this week’s NFL games, which has the Packers, Lions, and Vikings all kicking off at the same time, Senator Baldwin also sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to urge the league to consider how scheduling these teams simultaneously impacts Packers fans.
“Wisconsinites love the Green Bay Packers, and when we can’t be at Lambeau Field, we watch them play on TV,” wrote Senator Baldwin. “Due to scheduling conflicts and local television markets that mismatch our State’s border, however, nearly half of a million Wisconsin residents can receive the wrong broadcast when the Packers play at the same time as a neighboring football franchise. I urge the NFL to take additional care in its scheduling to avoid these conflicts and ensure every Wisconsinite can watch regular Packers broadcasts.”
Dear Commissioner Goodell:
Wisconsinites love the Green Bay Packers, and when we can’t be at Lambeau Field, we watch them play on TV. Due to scheduling conflicts and local television markets that mismatch our State’s border, however, nearly half of a million Wisconsin residents can receive the wrong broadcast when the Packers play at the same time as a neighboring football franchise. I urge the NFL to take additional care in its scheduling to avoid these conflicts and ensure every Wisconsinite can watch regular Packers broadcasts.
More than 415,000 Wisconsinites live in thirteen counties that are assigned either to the Duluth-Superior media market, Twin Cities media market, or the Marquette, Michigan media market. As a result, when the NFL schedules Packers games at the same time as the Minnesota Vikings or the Detroit Lions and on the same network, these residents may miss out on the Packers game. This season, the NFL’s schedule includes four instances in which the Packers are scheduled to play at the same time and on the same network as these teams. These conflicts disappoint fans and are avoidable. I know that Green Bay Packers fans are the most loyal in the nation. The NFL should reward that loyalty with better scheduling practices to ensure they can watch the Packers, not the Vikings or Lions.
My Go Pack Go Act would solve this problem once and for all by requiring cable and satellite providers to give their Wisconsin subscribers access to programming from the broadcast television stations in a Wisconsin media market, and I will continue to fight for its passage. Until then, the NFL should take better care of Green Bay Packers fans by avoiding these conflicts in the first place. On behalf of the thousands of Packers fans in these affected counties, thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
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