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John McCain Working On Legislation For 'a La Carte' TV Channel Packages

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the goodbye-bravo dept.

Television 614

An anonymous reader writes "John McCain, Republican Senator for Arizona and former U.S. presidential candidate, is drafting a new bill that would pressure TV providers to allow customers to select and pay for only the channels they want to watch. The bill will also 'bar TV networks from bundling their broadcast stations with cable channels they own during negotiations with the cable companies, according to industry sources. So for example, the Disney Company, which owns both ABC and ESPN, could not force a cable provider to pay for ESPN in order to carry ABC.' Perhaps most importantly, the bill could 'end the sports blackout rule, which prohibits cable companies from carrying a sports event if the game is blacked out on local broadcast television stations.' This would hamstring the ludicrous practice of blacking out TV broadcasts in order to drive fans to buy actual tickets to a game. The cable and satellite TV industry is expected to push back very strongly against the bill."

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Sounds good. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685445)

Wont pass though.

Re:Sounds good. (5, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | about a year ago | (#43685539)

Depends on how it's framed. If they write the bill so it's all about finding out who orders Telemundo so they can be deported I think it would get a lot of support.

Re:Sounds good. (4, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#43685551)

oh, B.S.

Figure out a way to make some fatass executive rich off of it.. THEN it will pass.

Re:Sounds good. (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43685655)

As long as it doesn't eliminate the monopoly, it has a good chance, and McCain will have a chance at 2016...

Re:Sounds good. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685731)

McCain will never win after that stunt he pulled in 2008. Had he not flip flopped at the end of the primary he might have won. But at this point all of his credibility is gone, and with it any chance of winning enough independents to win.

Re:Sounds good. (4, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43685783)


He lost by the time he correct the old bat that claimed obama was a muslim. Even his correct was pandering to the nutbars, the correct correction would have been "No ma'am I don't believe so, nor would that matter in the slightest".

Re:Sounds good. (4, Informative)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year ago | (#43685915)

Not likely.

Chatter amongst the conservative set paints McCain as a RINO (Republican in Name Only) these days, and he's not getting much love from the rank-and-file either.

Of course he could try, but I doubt he'd get past the primaries, especially with far stronger candidates (e.g. (Rand) Paul, Cruz, Rubio) already both emerging and getting their political 'street cred' going.

Re:Sounds good. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685737)

That won't work. I order Telemundo to look at the sweet, sweet latina female figures that grace those airwaves and I am about as citizen-y as they come.

Re:Sounds good. (1)

Rougement (975188) | about a year ago | (#43685545)

The winged monkeys are being readied as we speak.

Re:Sounds good. (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#43685679)

I don't care if it passes. The fact is that it would be too-little too-late for me to care about television anymore. The advertisements you pay for, the terrible reality television, the death of educational programming, and the underlying vacuousness, even if they were partially caused by "free money" streams from package deals, aren't going to be reversed by suddenly making them fight for the percentage of their audience who will take advantage of this.

TV is dead, and the small pieces of legitimately good television can be gotten through the internet. It's too late to save cable.

Re:Sounds good. (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#43685869)

It's great to see our senior legislators working on optimizing the consumption of Soma by the Betas.

Much better a use of time and influence than stopping torture in our concentration camps.

Finally!! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685453)

I can have my dream package of just home shopping networks, pay-per-view previews and c-span!

Re:Finally!! (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about a year ago | (#43685577)

Get the basic basic cable package, the one you don't need a box for. I do and I get all that plus local broadcasts, WGN, and Discovery (I have no idea why they show me Pay-Per-View previews, I can't order them). That's it. WGN might be a little too stimulating for you though...

Re:Finally!! (1)

optikos (1187213) | about a year ago | (#43685579)

*THIS* is exactly what would happen in the aftermath of enacting McCain's plan. Why are the Republicans like McCain for Big Government & populist heavy-handed government regulation now?

Re:Finally!! (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#43685853)

Passing a regulation is not automatically a "Big Government heavy-handed move". There is no equivalency there. Certain propaganda that is constantly being drummed into our heads only makes some of us THINK it's there. Yes, Virginia, some things deserve to be regulated.

Re:Finally!! (1)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | about a year ago | (#43685769)

Since those are the networks that create revenue for the cable companies, would that mean that they would pay you to sign up?

Isn't that called "the internet"? (4, Insightful)

Dr. Spork (142693) | about a year ago | (#43685461)

I have a feeling this will all be moot soon. Youtube are about to unveil subscription channels, and we already have Hulu, Netflix, etc. All we need is an idiot-proof box for the living room so that grandma can surf all these channels with her "clicker" and we'll forget there ever was such a thing as cable tv.

Re:Isn't that called "the internet"? (2, Insightful)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#43685591)

Whats TV?

Oh I know, it's that thing old people talk about.

What is this, Korea?

Re:Isn't that called "the internet"? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43685599)

Do you think the cable companies (who are largely owned by the major players in the copyright lobby) are ever going to allow that to happen?

They'll fight that tooth and nail, and pay off enough lawmakers to get what they want.

If ever such a magic box exists, it will be locked down and entirely controlled by the media industry, and set up to guarantee them ad revenue and deny you any rights. Then we'll be right back where we are now.

Re:Isn't that called "the internet"? (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about a year ago | (#43685773)

You'd think so, and they'll certainly try, but in the end, they won't be able to stop it forever. It will just delay the inevitable.

Re:Isn't that called "the internet"? (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43685859)

I'd like to believe that, but what I've seen over the last bunch of years says that the copyright and media groups are winning the battle, and lawmakers are all too willing to give them what they want.

Between the DMCA, seemingly indefinite copyrights, and everything else, I don't see how we're going to make this inevitable.

It's beginning to look more like a world where the media companies control everything is inevitable.

Re:Isn't that called "the internet"? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#43685611)

I came here to post exactly this. Conventional TV channels need to appreciate that technology has created a viable alternative and, like it or not, they have to compete with it. Most of our terrestrial channels know this and have launched catch-up and/or live TV apps on a decent range of platforms, that carry advertising to pay the bills. I'm quite pleased to see that even Sky, that bastion of awfulness, has come to terms with the fact that its business model may be ending and has launched a streaming (live and on demand) subscription package for its channels.

Tellingly, Fox doesn't let them stream The Simpsons. Talk about the left and right hand not knowing what they're doing.

Re:Isn't that called "the internet"? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43685817)

Bullshit, if sky or any of your networks had smartend up I would be able to get their apps here in North America.

I will pay the TV tax today if you let me access iPlayer. Here that BBC? Here that Populace of the UK? You could let us foreigners pay your TV tax and have that much more funding or lower the tax on yourselves.

Re:Isn't that called "the internet"? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43685845)

Hear, not here. WTF, did I just do there?

Re:Isn't that called "the internet"? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685665)

Always some dumbass on Slashdot that has to pipe up with "I don't watch TV."

Who cares. STFU.

Re:Isn't that called "the internet"? (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43685715)

Clearly you do, else you would not have responded.

Re:Isn't that called "the internet"? (1)

CQDX (2720013) | about a year ago | (#43685697)

I have a feeling this will all be moot soon. Youtube are about to unveil subscription channels, and we already have Hulu, Netflix, etc. All we need is an idiot-proof box for the living room so that grandma can surf all these channels with her "clicker" and we'll forget there ever was such a thing as cable tv.

A Roku does that nicely.

Re:Isn't that called "the internet"? (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | about a year ago | (#43685795)

Roku doesn't do YouTube yet.

Re:Isn't that called "the internet"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685735)

This doesn't stop sports black outs though. I subscribed to the NHL ice application so that I could catch hockey games without a subscription; but over half the games are blacked out (including all play off games), which wasn't advertised prominently when I purchased the service. As such I can't actually use the service I'm paying a decent amount of money for, so I'm cancelling it.

If you don't remove the black outs, then a Le Carte dies, even on the internet.

Regular shows are easier, yes; but stuff still disappears: I spent 5 years converting my wife into a sci-fi fan, only to discover that a couple of the series I'd been waiting to watch had been pulled from our streaming service due to contracts with cable companies.

And really, the only thing that's forcing us to forgo cable is that we don't want to pay for all the stuff we don't want. I'd gladly pay for just the following channels, if they didn't come with the burden of getting everything else...

HBO/Stars/The Weather Channel/AMC/Maybe Discovery?

I'm not a fan of McCain, but I could get behind this... my bet is he has investments that pay off if this happens. Of course if Obama expresses any kind of support, you can bet McCain will pull his. So this is doomed.

WHY!? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685465)

Is this man not president?!

inb4 trolls

Re:WHY!? (5, Informative)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#43685543)


Re:WHY!? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685857)

You mean Palin the sweatheart of Busting the Oil Companies Balls in Alaska and the Crusader against the "Good Olde Politcal Boys" Club in Alaska who had many positive Articles written about her BEFORE August 2008, but then who after the 2008 RNC convention was worse than Ming the Merciless accroding to the same people who wrote the glowing articles about her not one month ago....

The same Palin that had quotes miss-attrributed to her that were spoken by a half rate SNL actress...

Yeah, that Palin....

Re:WHY!? (5, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#43685581)

Partly, bad timing: his party's brand was tarnished by George W. Bush. Partly, bad choice of running mate.

Blame the party leadership, not McCain himself.

Re:WHY!? (3, Informative)

Nimey (114278) | about a year ago | (#43685659)

I think the man's entirely responsible for his choice of running mates, TYVM.

Re:WHY!? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43685673)


He had to ok the choice of the running mate. He failed to distance himself from GWB, nor speak ill of him in anyway.

McCain sold out and lost because of it.

Re:WHY!? (-1, Flamebait)

Le Marteau (206396) | about a year ago | (#43685837)

Exactly. The fix was in. The "powers that be" wanted Obama, as evidenced by Palin, and then putting up a fucking Mormon against The Annointed One the 2nd time around.

Re:WHY!? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43685871)

You need to give up on the conspiracies.

The GOP did this all by themselves. They decided to chase the racist and far right wing votes, there are not enough of those to get the whitehouse. No conspiracy needed.

Him being a mormon, only mattered to folks who would never vote for a black president anyway.

Re:WHY!? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#43685707)

Well, and there was McCain swinging around to support a lot of the republicans' worst ideas to win the primary. Say what you want about Obama, his bad ideas are pretty much entirely his own, and don't represent the extreme left in even the slightest.

Re:WHY!? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43685753)

He had lost by the time he had to correct that old lady claiming obama was a muslim. It was crystal clear then that all he had was the nutbags and racists.

Re:WHY!? (1)

uniquename72 (1169497) | about a year ago | (#43685809)

If the John McCain of 2000 had rerun in 2008, he would have won easily.

Instead the New & Improved John McCain embraced all the things that even Republicans hated about Bush, refusing to address the massive spending spree or the vast expansion of government size and authority overseen by Bush and the Republican Congress from 2000 to 2006.

And then he chose a moron as a running mate.

Re:WHY!? (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about a year ago | (#43685839)

Palin was an issue, but the real reason was all George W. Bush. Biden is no less colorful in his own way than Palin is. The reason he didn't torpedo Obama? Because he is the Vice President and no one really gives a shit. He might have been more tame than Palin this last election, but if dumbass comments are all you need to get your election chances torpedoed, Uncle Joe has a much, much longer history of "foot in mouth" disease that could have been trundled out.

Re:WHY!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685863)

He is also a good example of a reasonable, moderate person being corrupted by his party in order to appeal to those on the far right.

I used to enjoy watching him on The Daily Show because although he had different viewpoints, he always seemed fair and engaging opposite Stewart.

Then the campaign started, and you could just see the puppet masters pulling his strings and changing him...

I already got that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685469)

It's called internet streaming and no cable

Re:I already got that (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43685851)

Internet streaming isn't for everyone, particularly people who are addicted to left- or right-leaning political pundits on TV or parents of kids too young to get into a sports bar.

Re:I already got that (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | about a year ago | (#43685903)

You can't be serious. You can find pundits of all types on the Internet. And for sports, well, there's always AM radio :D

Blackout rule (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685477)

the bill could 'end the sports blackout rule, which prohibits cable companies from carrying a sports event if the game is blacked out on local broadcast television stations.'

Why not just end all blackouts, whether on cable or broadcast TV?
There is added value in buying a ticket to a sporting event over watching it from home. I've never heard anyone say they bought the ticket because of a TV blackout.

Re:Blackout rule (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#43685605)

The Indianapolis 500 still blacks out it's coverage to the Indianapolis area market because their Board of Fossils, I mean Directors, are scared to death about getting people to buy tickets. This is even though they sell out the stands every year and they can barely fit people into the infield anymore.

It's fear and corporate idiots thinking they know something they don't.

On top of it, the NFL says their stats say blackouts don't make any difference in ticket sales. You're just limiting the market for your sponsors.

Re:Blackout rule (0)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | about a year ago | (#43685885)

Why would you be angry that these people tell you that you can't waste hours of your life watching cars go around in a circle 500 times. Wouldn't any person with common sense know enough to not watch this anyways? Seriously. I could see watching a Rally race, but NASCAR just boggles my mind. I view it second only to watching wrestling on TV (WWF or whatever they're calling it today) for proof that morons exist in large quantities.

Re:Blackout rule (1)

Bigby (659157) | about a year ago | (#43685771)

I don't understand at all how "a la carte" fixes anything with blackout rules.

Why can't the sports venue, typically a privately run venue, have a contract with the channels recording the event to not broadcast in that area? If their feed leads to broadcasting in that area when the event isn't sold out, they could cut the feed for them in all areas. The recorder would be in breach of contract, the venue would still get the payment from the recorder, and the recorder would lose all the advertising revenue. "A la carte" does nothing here.

YEA!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685485)

Go John go

Nelson Rating (2)

hbean (144582) | about a year ago | (#43685489)

I gotta admit, I just took a Nelson rating diary survey, and all its done is made me realize how much I'd like to cancel my increasingly expensive cable service. I watched maybe 8 hours of broadcast TV during the week I kept the diary.

Re:Nelson Rating (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#43685717)

Fiber is coming to my city in the next year or so and I am waiting on pins and needles to sign up. I'll be the first in line because cable cost has increased around 100% in the last few years. I only watch less than 5 channels but because of tiering I have to get 3 or so different packages.

That's how they make their money and this is why this bill will probably not even get to a committee hearing.

Federal law? (0)

almitydave (2452422) | about a year ago | (#43685501)

Well, these are things I wish the companies would do, but making a federal case about it? I don't see the justification. These are terms negotiated in contracts for cable TV - I don't see a compelling reason for the government to step in. Is there some right of the people to get the TV channels they want at the price they want that I don't know about? Am I missing something?

Re:Federal law? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685569)

I assume the underlying concept is with monopolies or oligopolies. If all the networks are forcing cable companies to pick up all of their stations or get nothing, and they all do this, it's basically a oligopoly (many single monopolies colluding).

So.. there is probably some basis for this kind of things relative to other monopolistic laws we have in place.

Re:Federal law? (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#43685583)

I can see mandating a couple of basic channels for news and weather... which they already provide for free over the air or dirt cheap (my grandfather pays $5/mo for basic cable with ~12 channels, mostly local). I get free basic cable from TWC for subscribing to Internet (about the only perk keeping me with them). But to mandate it for every channel is overstepping boundaries.

Re:Federal law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685621)

These types of dealings are skirting antitrust laws.
Just how many different cable providers do you have to choose from?

Re:Federal law? (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about a year ago | (#43685625)

The only reason is they are given a monopoly it near one to avoid cluttering telephone polls with competitors. If we had an all comers pure fiber network from our municipalities it would be a different story.

Re:Federal law? (1)

Newander (255463) | about a year ago | (#43685651)

You could make the argument that the big media companies are using monopoly powers to force people to buy products that they don't want. That should probably fall under current legislation, though.

Re:Federal law? (1, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year ago | (#43685677)

Me neither. I'm hardly a libertarian, except in the sense that everyone is*, but this seems to me to be government overreach.

Cable TV is not a vital public service, in any shape or form. It's not important infrastructure you must have access to or else be significantly disadvantaged. Nobody is any the worse for not having it. In fact, it's actually just awful.

Given that, let the market take care of it. If Disney gets greedy and insists no bundling ABC without 50 other unrelated channels that cause a cable provider's costs to go up by $50 per subscriber, then let it fail because nobody can afford it any more. Governments shouldn't be micromanaging issues like this.

* I'm in favor only of those laws I support, and against laws I disagree with. As such I'm in favor of small government, obviously, because small government people believe that there should only be laws they deem necessary which by definition means the ones they agree with and not the ones they disagree with.

Re:Federal law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685681)


People think that whatever benefits them directly should be law.

And why is a Republican trying to put regulation on business?

Re:Federal law? (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#43685747)

Yes you're missing something... the government is supposed to be representing the greater good, not pure corporate interest.

I know they've pretty much only been doing the latter since 1980 and its easy for people these days to not see what the purpose of government even IS... but come on. If people are being scammed they are supposed to care. That's the government interest.

Re:Federal law? (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year ago | (#43685887)

The greater good would, though, require the government actually focus on important stuff, which quite honestly the payment rules for TV channels and the provision of access to sporting content isn't.

Would it be nice if I could just buy the channels I want? I think so, sorta. Probably. I don't know. I have a feeling Dish wants me to pay what I'm paying regardless. I suspect I'll gain one or two channels I currently don't have in my package because they belong to another tier, but I'll unexpectedly miss out on content I thought I never watch but actually do.

Moreover though, it's not the kind of thing I want the government doing, because the government has an irritating habit of screwing things up when it decides how people should pay for something. One of the (many) reasons for the failure of, for example, passenger rail in this country was the decision of state and Federal governments to micromanage ticket pricing. Indeed, much of the freight rail industry collapsed for the same reason in the 1970s, it took deregulation to prevent it all from collapsing and a massive government bailout to keep the system in the North East up and running until it could be made profitable agaain.

And it did that despite the fact the industry involved, that it was destroying, was actually important. Cable TV isn't.

I don't see value in the government micromanaging this. Access to the Internet? Perhaps. But even there it needs to be aware of its limitations. These proposals seem, to me, to be an excessively large amount of action for a trivial problem.

Re:Federal law? (1)

uniquename72 (1169497) | about a year ago | (#43685897)

The government permits cable monopolies, and therefore have a responsibility to ensure that those monopolies aren't abusive (yeah, they're doing a piss poor job of it).

The solution is trivial: End cable monopolies. In the '80s there were 3 cable companies in my area, competition was fierce, and prices and service were great. Today there is a single cable company, and they are a disaster.

Suddenly I really like John McCain! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685509)

Finally someone goes to bat for the consumer of these shows rather than the big cable companies. My fear is it will never pass because too many of his Republican friends don't want the cable companies to lose profits.

Re:Suddenly I really like John McCain! (1)

Newander (255463) | about a year ago | (#43685687)

It's the content providers (Viacom et al.) that are the real targets here. The cable companies are being pushed around almost as much at the consumer.

Not all providers have this capability. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685523)

And expect the per-channel price to be sky-high. Having said that, though, I hope it passes.

Re:Not all providers have this capability. (1)

Newander (255463) | about a year ago | (#43685701)

Sure, but I could probably still get the 5 channels I want for less than I spend on the 300 I never watch.

Too Little Too Late (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#43685527)

The idea of a la carte pricing for cable tv is probably nearly as old as cable tv. They've been talking about it forever and never getting shit done.

About 3 years ago I gave up and became a cord-cutter - internet only for everything. I don't give a damn about pro sports (bread and circuses) so it has worked out great for me. Now if only I didn't have to buy my internet access from a company that is also a cable-tv provider...

Re:Too Little Too Late (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#43685635)

I've found it's a very slight advantage to have the cable TV company (TWC) as my ISP. I get free basic cable with my Internet access, which is on par with all of the other ISPs around here for price, reliability, support, etc.

Re:Too Little Too Late (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#43685685)

If you live in the USA and have access to more than one high-speed internet provider you are exceptionally lucky. Most people have to choose between catv or dsl and dsl doesn't qualify as high-speed anymore.

Re:Too Little Too Late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685807)

What? Maybe if you live in the boonies, in which case you give up your right to complain about poorer infrastructure. Almost everybody has the choice between Comcast & AT&T at the very least, not to mention smaller local services and satellite.

Re:Too Little Too Late (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#43685919)

Almost everybody has the choice between Comcast & AT&T at the very least, not to mention smaller local services and satellite.

ATT is DSL except for a handful of towns. DSL, Satellite, and all the fixed wireless ISPs are not high-speed. Maybe a decade ago, but not nowadays.

Re:Too Little Too Late (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#43685693)

The underlying issue is that you have a plurality of monopolies handling your TV services. If US TV companies had to compete with each other in the same region, it would generally encourage competitive action like this, but more specifically, it would offer one provider an incentive to offer its exclusive channels a la carte to subscribers of the other service (via streaming, for example) as a way of scooping up at least some revenue from those customers.

Since we're talking about McCain here (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685559)

What's the catch? What odious crap is hidden in this bill?

Re:Since we're talking about McCain here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685669)

What's the catch? What odious crap is hidden in this bill?

Doesn't matter! It's so maverick! That's what makes it better and electable! I know it's so maverick because he said so a lot!

Re:Since we're talking about McCain here (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | about a year ago | (#43685699)

The catch is it's never going to become law because the corporate interests are against it.

Re:Since we're talking about McCain here (1)

Rougement (975188) | about a year ago | (#43685779)

Exactly. I don't believe that guy is capable of introducing any legislation that's consumer-focused, sensible or otherwise non-cronyish.

more favorable campaign advertisement rates (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about a year ago | (#43685571)

tv and politicians need each other. neither can afford to make the other *too* mad.

too late ! (1)

tizan (925212) | about a year ago | (#43685597)

You tube is coming with specialized channels at $ 1 per month (hopefully i'll get all the sports i'm interested like world-football/ MLS etc) along with netflix/amazon-prime for series/movies (i don't care if i am a few season behind) ...i'm good.

Oooo, a small government republican (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43685617)

Writing laws to protect the entertainment industry? What kind of crap is this? Just take away their monopoly protections, and problem solved.

Re:Oooo, a small government republican (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685789)

John McCain is many things but he is not a "Small Government Republican/Libertarian" He is a "Big Government Rockefeller Republican" if anything at all...

Because (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year ago | (#43685637)

The answer to too much government is more government.

When good ideas attack (0)

grasshoppa (657393) | about a year ago | (#43685639)

Ala cart channel bundling? Great idea! No moronic sports blackouts? Another great idea. Making law to FORCE companies to do this? Horrible, horrible idea.

We like to pretend we believe in capitalism around here, then the "small government" party ( ahahahaha ) goes off and pulls something like this.

If the market hasn't provided for this capability yet, it's because people don't want it bad enough. Simple as that. And while many will point out how difficult it is for your average person to fight against this, I would point out that the barrier is lowering, and has been since the advent of the internet in everyday lives.

Re:When good ideas attack (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | about a year ago | (#43685855)

The government controls the broadcast spectrum. Requiring certain concessions as a condition for use is not inappropriate, even for a small government.

Too late, already cut the cable (1)

CQDX (2720013) | about a year ago | (#43685643)

Only watching internet streaming (mostly Netflix) and OTA broadcasts. On demand streaming is the future. Got tired of paying nearly $100/month for 200 channels, of which I would only watch 10 at most. Wanna bet if they sell a la carte, each channel would cost $5-10 month plus a $25/month "maintenance" fee?

Who cares? (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43685647)

This is too little too late. Forget saving these dinosaurs, I want to see them crash and burn.

This guy continues to mystify me... (3)

seebs (15766) | about a year ago | (#43685661)

I have about a 50-50 chance of strongly liking or strongly disliking legislation he proposes.

I'm sort of assuming that he's going to eventually turn this in a proposal to require unbundling of both cable packages and Constitutional rights.

Clayton Antitrust Act (4, Interesting)

sjbe (173966) | about a year ago | (#43685683)

I've always been mildly surprised that no one has argued that channel bundling violates Section 3 of the Clayton Antitrust Act [] . Basically the networks and cable companies are engaged in tying [] which can in some circumstances be illegal. While it may be legal in this case it seems to exist right on the edge of legality. I've never been convinced of the argument that channel bundling is in the best interest of the consumers and it certainly is only possible due to the market power of the companies involved.

Important things (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#43685719)

TV volume and a la carte TV channel selection. These are the things their constituents really care about. It's about time they did something.

Re:Important things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685819)

Yeah, I really think they should get back to the more important things . . . like trying to repeal Obamacare for the 95th time!

Not government's job. (0)

kamapuaa (555446) | about a year ago | (#43685755)

I haven't ever in my life subscribed to cable, but what the heck. Why is a politician, in particular a Republican, telling cable companies how they have to conduct their business?

Consumers rights with contract disputes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685767)

One thing I'm interested in seeing is the consumers getting to see the details between networks and the content providers when they go to renew. As one of the people who is ultimately going to pay for it, the details of the current contracts and the new contracts should be fully disclosed to the end consumers. That way we can decide whether the increase in our bill is actually worth it in the end or not.

Not only bundling needs to be gotten rid of (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685787)

THey also need to forbid the cities's from entering into exclusive contracts to allow only one Cable/Internet provider for an area.

OMFG......this is what our leaders are doing? (1)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | about a year ago | (#43685801)

With so many issues facing our nation, this is the retarded shit they are focusing on? Al-la-cart TV channels and Commercial Volume []

No wonder we are a country of ignorant fat ass's and the rest of the world hates us.

Re:OMFG......this is what our leaders are doing? (1)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | about a year ago | (#43685841)

Better than when they spend an afternoon naming a post office

This is conservative? (1)

NoahsMyBro (569357) | about a year ago | (#43685813)

Ignoring the merits or lack thereof of the proposal, isn't this sort of thing exactly the opposite of what "conservatives" claim to be about? And doesn't McCain claim to be a conservative?

Missing a supporter. (5, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#43685831)

There's another reason McCain is behind this: A la carte cable is a very popular idea with the social conservative faction that holds a lot of influence within the republican party. The FRC has frequently put out a public call for something like this. Their motivation is in obscenity and indecency: They really don't like the idea that good christian conservatives have to pay for the raunchy entertainment and liberal media channels because they happen to be in the same bundle as the Disney channel and Fox news.

Need more than a la carte channels... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685867)

There is another issue with providers that needs to be addressed.

I was looking at Verizon FIOS packages yesterday and notices something really bad.

For 50\25 Internet it was $90\month

For 50\25 Internet + Prime HD(210 channels) it was $90\month

Whats wrong with that picture?

Lobby money not meeting projections? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685877)

Oh my, the Cable/TV lobby must be falling short in their campaign contributions. This is sure to alleviate the shortfall.

Internet costs will shoot up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685905)

The execs will get their money no matter what.

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