McCain pushes "a la carte" cable bill

May 13, 2013

With a Senate committee scheduled to continue work on immigration legislation that Arizona’s John McCain helped spearhead, the state’s senior Senator will be pushing another pet project Tuesday morning. 

Sen McCain Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) hopes to allow consumers to buy cable channels individually. (Photo courtesy the Office of Sen. McCain)

Last week, Senator McCain introduced the Television Consumer Freedom Act. It would force cable and satellite providers to sell channels individually instead of making people buy packages that include channels they may not watch. Speaking on the Senate floor, McCain called the current system unfair.

“Especially when you consider how the regulatory deck is stacked in favor of industry, against the American consumer," McCain said. "It’s clear when one looks at how cable prices have gone up over the last 15 years.”

McCain cited an FCC report that the average cost of cable has more than doubled since 1995.

Not surprisingly, the bill has drawn fire from some in the cable industry. In a statement, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association said consumers have more choices than ever before, and that forcing retail models on private providers is unnecessary.

McCain is set to appear before a Commerce subcommittee Tuesday morning to advocate for his plan.

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