Television Consumer Freedom Act aims to eliminate pay TV bundles

By on May 9, 2013, 4:30 PM

Senator John McCain introduced a piece of legislation today that would allow customers to pick and choose which television channels they want. The Television Consumer Freedom Act of 2013 is designed to “help shift the landscape to benefit television consumers” and free them from an injustice being inflicted on the American people, McCain said.

It’s a bill that’s likely to gain support from droves of consumers that are fed up with having to subscribe to expensive television programming packages in order to gain access to a select few channels they are interested in. It’s a practice that has gone on for many years and one of the key reasons why a number of consumers are ditching pay TV altogether.

McCain criticized programmers and distributors for the tactic known as bundling. As an example, he noted that all cable subscribers are forced to absorb the cost of ESPN whether they watch it or not. “Today we are putting up a stop sign,” he said.

Cable and satellite providers, however, argue that bundles actually save money for their customers. If a network like ESPN or TNT was to suddenly disappear from half of the homes they are in today, the networks would have to charge those still interested in the stations double the price.

Naturally, the bill is expected to face a ton of pressure from industry executives that aren’t too keen on changing an extremely lucrative business model. Whether or not McCain can even get the bill off the ground remains to be seen. *crosses fingers*

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