Senator John McCain Pushing Legislation to End Cable Bundles

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John McCain is currently working on legislation that would allow consumers to buy only the TV programs they’d like to watch.

The Arizona senator’s proposed legislation would ultimately force cable operators and other TV providers to split up their programming bundles into smaller and more affordable packages.

Rising costs of cable TV packages – coupled with having to pay for dozens or even hundreds of unwatched channels – have long been a source of anger and frustration for consumers, who have consistently argued for a more logical viewing system.

And the main principle behind the Republican senator’s notion, which is slated to be formally introduced in coming days, is that consumers shouldn’t be forced to pay for extra channels they never watch.

 "This is unfair and wrong -- especially when you consider how the regulatory deck is stacked in favor of industry and against the American consumer," McCain said.

But the senator's proposal, termed the Television Consumer Freedom Act, will certainly be met with intense opposition from TV broadcasters and cable providers alike.

For years the cable industry has maintained that offering such deals wouldn’t benefit the majority of people – even consumers.

In response to McCain’s recently publicized model, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association released the following statement:

"As countless studies have demonstrated, subscription bundles offer a wider array of viewing options, increased programming diversity, and better value than per-channel options," the group said.

Without the bundles, the NCTA argues, content providers wouldn't be able to afford to develop programming that might only appeal to a niche market. And without that programming, everyone suffers because there’s less diversity

Sources: Hillicon Valley, CNET