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American Cable Association Statement On McCain A La Carte Bill

American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued May 9 the following statement on the introduction of video programming competition legislation sponsored by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.):

"The American Cable Association salutes Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for continuing his search for solutions designed to provide consumers with more choice in the selection of video programming, including local TV signals, offered by pay-TV providers.  In today's pay-TV world, programmers prefer that consumers have less choice, and we agree that this sorry situation needs to change.

"Sen. McCain's new bill highlights a point that many, including ACA, have been making for a long time, which is that programmers use their formidable market power to impose tying-and-bundling requirements on unwilling distributors.  The result is that consumers must subscribe to large pay-TV packages that are populated with dozens of unwanted channels.

"ACA does not believe that mandated retail a la carte for every channel offered is the answer, but we look forward to working with Sen. McCain in helping shape policies that deal with the influence of programmers in a manner that gives distributors the genuine ability to create consumer-friendly programming packages as a substitute for the all-or-nothing status quo that enriches programmers but frustrates millions of consumers."

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