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H.R. 2223 incorporate specific language calling upon the Commission to take action to protect intercollegiate sports and granting it specific authority in this



Intercollegiate athletics stands now at a critical point in its history. The financial difficulties of educational institutions are having a particularly heavy impact on sports programs. New governmental policies are being promulgated, the implementation of which will impose substantial burdens on collegiate sports programs. The goal of the NCAA is simply to attempt to assure that these programs are not further ravaged by cable systems acting in the name of increased profits and illusory viewer benefits. It is the NCAA's belief that this can be accomplished in a balanced manner without undue prejudice to the interests of any individual group.



Mr. COPPEDGE. Thank you, very much.

Mr. KASTENMEIER. You have been very patient to wait until this hour to present your statement.

Mr. COPPEDGE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and members of the subcommittee. My name is John Coppedge. I am director of athletics at the U.S. Naval Academy.

I am here today, however, as the chairman of the cable television subcommittee of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. My purpose is to express the view of the NCAA member colleges and universities, that the compulsory license to make secondary transmissions of television broadcasts, which the copyright revision bill would grant to cable television systems, must include limitations protecting college athletic programs from damage from cable carriage of certain sports events broadcasts.

In view of the limited time available this afternoon, I will confine my remarks to a brief outline of the nature and basis for our concern. I request, however, that the NCAA's full prepared statement be incorporated in the record of this hearing.

Mr. KASTENMEIER. Without objection, the statement will be received, in full.

Mr. COPPEDGE. Cable system retransmissions of certain telecasts of collegiate and professional sports events into communities located far from the transmitting site endangers in-person attendance at college games essential to the economic viability of intercollegiate athletic programs.

By presenting on local television events which would not be authorized for television broadcasting in the area concerned, because of the injury which would be inflicted on local high school and colleges, it threatens both protection from professional football telecasts extended by Federal law, and protection from intercollegiate event telecasts which is a major element of NCAA telecasting policies.

Cable carriage of professional football telecasts made on Friday nights or on Saturdays during the high school or college football season, threatens to erode protection from such telecasts which Congress extended to high schools and colleges in section 3 of Public Law 87-331, with potential serious impact on high school and college gate receipts.

Cable retransmissions of NCAA football telecasts into areas where a different regional game is being broadcast threatens to destroy the NCAA's regional system of telecasts, a critical element in the NCAA's telecasting policy, which permits a broad range of NCAA institutions to gain television exposure and related revenues.

In the 1974 football season, 110 NCAA colleges and universities realized a total of more than $8 million in revenues from regional telecasts. In recent years, widespread cable carriage has also increasingly prevented NCAA members from taking advantage of NCAA television plan provision permitting individual institutions to make limited local telecasts of football games-such as sold out home games or games played a substantial distance from the institution's campuswhich were not selected by the network for appearance on the national series.

Thirty-seven NCAA institutions appeared on such "exception" telecasts last year. Institutions already precluded by cable carriage from making exception telecasts include Ohio State and the University of Arizona, while telecasts by Arkansas and the University of Michigan. are on the endangered list. Accordingly, unless this bill incorporates appropriate specific limitations on secondary transmissions of intercollegiate sports event telecasts, or at a minimum expressed directions to the Federal Communications Commission to issue rules on this regard, the access of collegiate sports events to broadcast televisionand thus, the extent to which they are available to the television viewing public-will be gravely curtailed, and many colleges which now share in television exposure and revenues only because of the regional and exception telecasting agreements, will suffer.

We are asking only that cable systems be subjected to the same. limitations as apply to television broadcasts of the sports events concerned. We believe that our request is reasonable and that it is in the public interest to protect high school and college athletic programs.

We urge the adoption of provisions in section 111 which respond to

our concern.

Mr. KASTENMEIER. Thank you.

Do I understand that, in terms of your chairing this cable television subcommittee of the NCAA, do you represent the views of the colleges and high schools? Do you represent the high schools' point of view, too?

Mr. COPPEDGE. I represent the high schools' point of view only to the extent that they suffer the same problems that we do. And as we have been-the professional rules covered both, so that is the reason for my language in the statement.

Mr. KASTENMEIER. Whatever it is-and perhaps it is not precisely clear what we have heard, that organized professional baseball and professional hockey seeks, in terms of control over their cable transmissions, as well as normal broadcasts, do you seek a similar remedy in the bill?

Mr. COPPEDGE. I do not think so, exactly. Our concern is if a game is televised, we would like the same restrictive provisions for cable television that are provided the regular broadcasting people.

We are not trying to black it out. We are just trying to make sure that the colleges and schools in a particular area have some time during the day in which they can play, that they will not have to be faced with television.

In a regional game, we would welcome all cable systems to carry it in that region. In a national game, we would welcome all cables to carry it nationally.

But the problem comes when you have a regional game which is very vital to the NCAA schools. They are set at a certain time period. If there is another regional game on the west coast, for instance, which would be brought back to another region, there would be nowhere where the remainder of the schools or universities could play during that day in which they would not be in competition with some type of television.

I do not think that the royalty problem, as we have heard this morning, is one that we are discussing. The exception telecast, which is vital and important to many schools and universities and one which the NCAA Television Committee would like to endorse, is backfiring and forcing schools such as Ohio State not to provide cable telecast when they have sold-out games. It would be very good if they could provide local broadcasting, which we support in Columbus, but to take that signal and import it into other parts of the State of Ohio does damage to colleges and universities.

Mr. KASTEN MEIER. Your statement seems to recognize, as the gentleman from California, Mr. Danielson, has suggested, the best place to resolve this question would, perhaps, be in the FCC rather than in the context of this bill-the copyright bill. Is that not true?

Mr. COPPEDGE. I do not believe we believe that, sir. There has been a problem. Our experience has been that the FCC has some doubt about their authority in this area. Any regulations the FCC issues would be subjected to court cases which would be lengthy.

I think this is such a big, public interest thing that if you do not provide specific language in the bill, then certainly some direction should be given by your committee. We are talking about a lot of schools-800 or so, or more, colleges and universities throughout the country.

It has a lot of public interest. And to date, there has been some hesitancy on the part of the FCC to put out ground rules on this subject, and I think there is some doubt about their jurisdiction.

We clearly think it is your committee who should-and that the bill should specify as a minimum, direction in which the FCC should go. if not some specific language that would limit these broadcasts.

Mr. KASTEN MEIER. For purposes of historical comparison, the NFL blackout would not be affected by cable, would it? They could not invade the existing blackout, because there would be no transmission?

Mr. COPPEDGE. It is certainly a possibility of them scheduling, without damage, on a Friday night, or Saturday, and be perfectly appropriate to broadcast live in a particular area in accordance with the law.

But if that same game was transmitted into some other area, which it is likely to do, damage would occur. The illustration that I hear bantered about quite a bit among my colleagues is a signal that came out of an Atlanta game and was imported into Arkansas on a Friday night when the high schools were playing. I cannot pinpoint an illustration where one of the colleges were particularly affected, but it certainly has the potential.

If you keep up with it, as you noticed, in New York this year, because of scheduling problems in Shea Stadium, the Giants are, in fact, going to play some Saturday games during the regular season.

If these signals were imported to distant areas, it would do appreciable damage.

Mr. KASTENMEIER. Is not cable subject to the same limitations that other television broadcasting is, in that connection?

Mr. COPPEDGE. No, sir.

Mr. KASTEN MEIER. What advice would you have for us, in connection with cable telecasting of signals involving either college, high school, or professional games which interfere with colleges?

Mr. COPPEDGE. I think the specific language we would be interested in is providing the same limitations to them that are provided on overthe-air or regular telecasts. Those are clearly defined and workable.

Mr. KASTENMEIER. You would not grandfather anything, but take recognition of the fact that perhaps some cable systems have been televising with this sort of program sports events for years and all of a sudden they would have to get a prior clearance, I take it, from perhaps the NCAA or some other organization?

Mr. COPPEDGE. I do not think so. I will check with our attorney before I answer-he is more familiar with that than I am. But I do not think so-there have not been a number of abuses, to date. However, the potential for abuses are tremendous, and there have been abusesthat is, Ohio State is a good example. The University of Arizona had a problem where there was a junior college championship game and about a week before the game, it was advertised in the paper that cable television was going to carry the Arizona versus Arizona State game. This forced the junior colleges to shift the schedule of the championship game to a night game, so they would not have to compete with the cable telecast--which was most detrimental to their


Although I have pointed out some specific illustrations, there have not been too many, but the potential damage especially in the regional games, which is of greatest concern to us, and to importing a signal in to various regions, is considerable.

Mr. THOMAS. My name is Ritchie Thomas. I am Washington counsel for the NCAA. To amplify that answer a little bit, sir, Captain Coppedge is correct that, as you know, with the new FCC rules still only 3 years old, the distant signal importation as to the systems which are now coming into being, is still in its infancy.

So, as to the problem of the spread of regional games, across regional boundaries, it has not as yet become a significant problem. So I do not think there is any problem, really, by grandfathering such a carriage because it really does not exist, substantially.

As to exception telecasts, basically the problem is that if widespread cable carriage so spreads the impact of broadcasting on other colleges and universities, that contemporaneous games are injured, we cannot make the exception telecast.

So, grandfathering in this regard would simply mean that the exception telecasts cannot be made.

Again, our position as to national telecasts and regional telecasts, as far as cable systems in the region are concerned, is that we are very happy to have cable systems carry those games, whether there is a local broadcast station which carries it, or not.

Mr. COPPEDGE. One other point, as one of the committee members who negotiates with the major broadcasting companies for the NCAA football package, if there are too many-if it happens frequently that you

have regional problems, then you cannot sell that product, besides doing damage to the gate by the teams, all the teams in that region. The product goes down in its value.

Mr. KASTENMEIER. I yield to the gentleman from California.

Mr. DANIELSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you, gentlemen. Your statement is very clear and I do not really have any questions on the substance of it.

It is my understanding that you really are not anxious about royalty fees, license fees, but what you are concerned about is the damage that can be done to the institution of collegiate athletics through compelling teams to compete with television or cable broadcasts of other games which might have a great public interest, thereby cutting your gate?

Mr. COPPEDGE. That is correct. To carry it to its extreme, if you are able to do that, you would end up with 10 super teams in the country and they would be the only ones on TV all the time.

Mr. DANIELSON. Well, the economic aspect of having your gate diminished is terribly important here. That is not the only thing. A lack of attendance tends to destroy interest in the teams, and in the activities, generally.

It could have an adverse morale effect upon the entire athletic program of our colleges and universities.

Mr. COPPEDGE. Many of these so-called division 3 schools, which are the smaller athletic programs, do not even charge for their games.

Mr. DANIELSON. I also know that major schools-at least those who can come up in the black on the football, for example, or basketball— usually will use those profits to support other athletic programs intramural or intercollegiate programs which do not support themselves financially.

Mr. COPPEDGE. We support 21.

Mr. DANIELSON. In my own area, we had Occidental University in California. It used to have a fine football team. But they simply cannot compete today. They discontinued I think, starting with Chicago 30 years ago. There has been a constant attrition because of the inability to compete.

I am very sympathetic to this position. Your position is really not that much different from that of professional athletics. If we are going to have professional athletics, and public policy seems to be in favor of them, then you have got to keep the entire organism alive, not just one or two or three teams.

So, what I really think we need, Mr. Chairman, is legislation which will recognize the unique characteristics of college athletics and the unique characteristics of professional athletics, and provide a sufficient protection in the field of competition so that they can survive.

If the public policy, public interest wants this sort of activity— and I am convinced they do want it-I think that that is a solution. But I really have serious doubts that copyright is the way to do it.

Maybe we should get somebody on Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee to strengthen the jurisdiction of FCC and give them some guidelines and directions so they would come up with that kind of protection.

I am for the goals you seek. I am just, unfortunately, in doubt that this is the way to do it.

I yield back my time.

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