Go Pack Go: Proposed legislation to require Wisconsin TV stations to provide statewide viewing access
As the 100th NFL season gets underway, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is working to make sure all Wisconsinites, no matter where they live across the state, can watch Green Bay Packers game broadcasts every week.
Senator Baldwin recently reintroduced her Go Pack Go Act that requires cable, satellite and other video providers to provide their Wisconsin subscribers with access to programming from broadcast television stations in a Wisconsin media market.
Currently, Green Bay Packers fans in 12 Wisconsin border counties are assigned to an out-of-state, Minnesota TV market, which means many of these Wisconsin households could get the Minnesota Vikings game instead of the Packers game when the two teams play at the same time.
Under the current schedule, the Packers and Vikings games are being broadcast on the same broadcast network at the same time in weeks 3, 14 and 17 of the NFL season, meaning Wisconsin viewers in a Minnesota-based TV market will see the Vikings game on their local TV station. Impacted Wisconsin counties in the Duluth-Superior media market include Douglas, Bayfield, Ashland, Iron and Sawyer. In the Twin Cities media market, Burnett, Washburn, Polk, Barron, St. Croix, Dunn and Pierce counties are impacted.
“Every Packers fan across our state should be able to watch every Packers game,” said Senator Baldwin. “My Go Pack Go Act would give Packers fans in every Wisconsin county the opportunity to receive in-state broadcasts, so they can cheer on our beloved green and gold.”
While most people live in a local television market that is centered in their home state, some counties, particularly in border areas, have been placed in an out-of-state market and their residents receive out-of-state TV broadcasts as a result. In Wisconsin, nearly 400,000 people live in 13 counties that have been assigned to an out-of-state market. Florence County is in the Marquette, Michigan, TV market and two stations currently choose to broadcast Packers games.
Baldwin’s reform will ensure that every Wisconsin cable or satellite subscriber who lives in these 13 counties has the choice of receiving an in-state broadcast for every major network, so they would always have access to Wisconsin-based programming like local news, weather, and sports, including Packers games.