AUSTIN (AP) -The fight between the NFL and large cable companies hit the Texas state Capitol on Monday, with commissioner Roger Goodell and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones making their pitch to get their fledgling network into more households.
It was clear Monday that Goodell and Jones believe lawmakers who hear from die-hard fans could apply pressure to get the dispute resolved.
``This is about fans and consumers having access to the programming they want,'' Goodell said at a meeting of the House Regulated Industries Committee.
Two lawmakers have said they would consider filing consumer-oriented legislation. But panel members didn't sound very keen on stepping into a tussle some have called a battle between billionaires and trying to dictate what programming is available on TV sets around the state.
``This is kind of a slippery slope. You don't know how far it's going to go,'' said Rep. John Smithee, an Amarillo Republican.
Lawmakers acknowledge they have been inundated with phone calls and e-mails since the Nov. 29 game between the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers, the NFC's top two teams, was on the NFL Network and unavailable in much of the state.
The complaints are likely to continue. Thursday night's Houston-Denver matchup is on the NFL Network, and so is the Cowboys' Dec. 22 game against Carolina.
Even if they wanted to, there's little lawmakers could do in the short term. The Texas Legislature doesn't meet again in full session until 2009.
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