Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 2:23am
MAKE CABLE GO A LA CARTE
[SOURCE: Los Angeles Times, AUTHOR: Sen John McCain (R-AZ) & FCC Chairman Kevin Martin]
[Commentary] American consumers have little choice when it comes to cable television. If you want ESPN, you must pay for 60-plus channels that you may never watch. If your child loves Nickelodeon, your family must pay for the same 60-plus channels, some of which may not be suitable for young children. Now, imagine deciding for yourself which TV channels you want to purchase. You could select the channels you want to pay for, and opt out of those you don't. In fact, right now millions of TV viewers outside the U.S. have these choices. They buy their television channels individually or in smaller bundles â€” and get better deals as a result. Why can't Americans do this now? Because there is too little competition, too much regulation and not enough consumer choice in the cable TV business. The solution to high cable bills isn't price controls or additional government regulation. It is more competition and more choice. For that reason, Congress should pass the proposed Consumers Having Options in Cable Entertainment Act â€” the CHOICE Act â€” which is being introduced today. It would allow cable companies to compete nationally for your business (rather than only at the local level) in exchange for agreeing to offer channels a la carte, either individually or in smaller bundles.
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