Pitching on the Hill: Baseball's Alliance with the Media and their Influence on Public Policy
The institution known as Major League Baseball enjoys a disproportionate level of influence over all branches of local and federal government. The media are the gatekeepers of information for society. Government representatives are dependant upon the media owners to explain to their constituents what they are accomplishing, and to exhibit themselves in a positive light so that they can be re-elected. As such, when these two institutions form an alliance they occasionally engage in unsuitable, and at times possibly illegal, business practices without facing significant consequences. Since the emergence of electronic media platforms, Baseball has used its privileged position to enter into business arrangements with the communication industry that maximize its returns from the exploitation of broadcasting its contests. In using its advantage with public policymakers, MLB has reshaped the media landscape and helped advance the interests of its business partners. Baseball is the only entity within the United States to be exempt from all antitrust legislation. On numerous occasions, both the judicial and legislative branches of government have attempted to rectify the obsolete status the League maintains, but Baseball's influence has protected it from the enactment of any modifications. This thesis investigates the circumstances that surround Baseball's antitrust exemption and the reciprocal causation between three institutions: baseball, the media, and Congress. The text presents numerous examples of how the League capitalizes on its exemption in court cases and the formation of public policy. The author conducts an in-depth analysis of the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961 and its current interpretations in light of new broadcasting distribution technologies.
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Yoder, April Rena (Georgetown University, 2014)"Pitching Democracy" details how Dominicans used baseball to communicate their expectations for democratic society in their interactions with their government, the United States, other Latin Americans, and each other during ...