John McCain Releasing a Bill That Would Allow for A La Carte Programming

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May 10, 2013 12:45 PM by Smash

shutterstock_TVscreenBusiness Insider – John McCain is going to release a bill that would dismantle cable as it’s currently constructed, Brenden Sasso at The Hill reports.

We have the full bill and McCain’s remarks here.

The legislation would force cable companies and satellite TV providers to give consumers an option to pick and choose which channels they get. This is called “à la carte programming,” and it’s long been a dream of consumers who only want a handful of channels.

McCain tried to introduce similar legislation in 2006 and it went nowhere.

When I first read about this, it sounded amazing. Pick and choose only the channels you want. Get rid of all the bullshit like Lifetime, Telemundo, Hallmark, etc. Keep the crucial, everyday channels for sports and your go to shows. Perfect. But then I thought about this and realized it’s the most impractical idea. Everyone gets to pick their channels ala carte. Great on paper, terrible in reality. Here’s why:

Say you’re a big fan of something like the 24/7 fishing network. I’m sure you and a handful of other people would be interested in the 24/7 fishing network. It’s just not economically feasible to have channels a la carte style. They’d crumble more than a piece of Nature Valley granola bar. Bait and tackle advertisers could only run their ads so much before everyone has seen them/isn’t buying anything. All the smaller channels would be broke VERY quickly.

It would essentially come down to the major channels like ESPN, ABC, CBS, news networks, and the other big name channels (you get the idea). It’d be a monopoly of sorts. Competition would be thrown out the window.

As great as this sounds and would be awesome to pick and choose your channels, in reality, it would be terrible for television.

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