Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin is pushing for the FCC to allow all Wisconsin residents to be able to access local broadcasting, a similar initiative that two Wisconsin Republican lawmakers have advocated for in the past.
Introduced this past July, Sen. Baldwin’s “Go Pack Go Act” would require TV providers to give Wisconsin residents access to Wisconsin-based broadcasts.
On Sunday, Baldwin stopped by the Brown County Democrats’ office while on her way to a Packers game.
Baldwin said that there are roughly 400,000 residents across 13 counties in Wisconsin who live in the state, but only get access to out-of-state broadcasts, such as ones from Minnesota and Upper Michigan.
Two other Wisconsin lawmakers have had similar initiatives.
Republican Senator Ron Johnson worked with the FCC from 2014 to 2016 to bring Wisconsin broadcasts to Iron and Ashland counties.
Republican Representative Sean Duffy created the “GO PACK Act” in 2015, but neither Congress nor the FCC picked it up.
Two brothers who both live in Hudson, Wisconsin know the struggle of finding a place showing a Packers game, because they can’t watch it at home. Hudson is near the border of Wisconsin and Minnesota and is grouped in with the Minneapolis-St. Paul television market.
“It’s just kind of a hassle to have to go to a bar or a restaurant just to watch your own football team in your own state,” Jake Lisiecki, of Hudson, said. “In order to get the game, you have to subscribe to like Sunday NFL Ticket which is very expensive, it’s like around $80 a month, just to get the Packers which is kind of ridiculous. Being from Wisconsin you should be able to, especially if you’re living in Wisconsin you should be able to watch the Packers.”
If Baldwin is able to pass the Go Pack Go Act through Congress or negotiate with the FCC, it would not only connect those 13 counties to Packers games, but it would also allow residents to watch Wisconsin-based local news as well.
“It’s a pretty big deal not to be connected to, not even just Packer games, but to Wisconsin news and know what’s going on in your home state,” Nick Lisiecki, of Hudson, said. “Just having that connection and feeling like you’re part of Wisconsin culture again, instead of just being fed something else that doesn’t connect to you, and doesn’t mean anything to you, it goes a long way.”
Senator Baldwin said she hopes the FCC will look at her proposal, but if not, she would like to see it passed in Congress.