The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Viewpoint-Brimer should focus on needs, not sports

By David Boyd/reporter

With various problems facing our state, you would think our Legislature would be up to its elbows in tough issues. After all, as a border state, we are impacted by immigration and trade-related topics, and as one of the largest states in population and geography, we have unmet needs or growing concerns in a variety of areas.

Education would be a great place to start, both for college students facing rising costs and for teachers facing increased demands and instructor shortages.

While Texans hope their elected representatives have their best interests at heart, it seems some will reach for attention without allocating resources to important areas. Instead of going public with a plan for meeting one of our critical needs, for example, state Sen. Kim Brimer grabbed headlines recently with his threat to involve the state Public Utility Commission in an effort to put the NFL network on basic cable packages.

A recent Star-Telegram article detailed Brimer’s plan to author state legislation aimed at intervening in an impasse between the NFL network and several cable companies over whether the NFL network should be part of basic or premium package. He also wants inclusion of the Mountain West Sports Network so Texans can more easily view TCU sports events.

“ Cable companies need to focus on giving their customers what they want, which is football,” he said.
Brimer needs to focus on giving his customers, the voters, what they want—education, safety, jobs and the attention of their elected officials on more important matters.

The PUC should be used to keep rates reasonable in a monopoly situation, which does not exist, or to provide affordable rates for necessities, which would probably exclude cable sports programming. Texans have alternatives for cable programming, like competing cable services or satellite providers, so there does not appear to be a monopoly interest involved in this scenario.

Interestingly, instead of asking the PUC to find ways to lower the highest residential rates in the nation, Brimer, a Republican from an area focused on natural gas and the interests of electricity providers, would make this his latest platform piece. Why focus on cable? Why not education or electricity?

As a rabid sports fan, I can identify with someone wanting to make sports programs available to sports fans, but this is not an important issue when compared to the other more pressing needs faced by Texans.

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