Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is set to launch incentives for cable TV providers to allow subscribers to pay only for those channels they desire to receive, and IPTV providers who offer their channels a la carte will gain a national franchise system so they no longer need to petition every local community they wish to enter. The National Cable and Telecommunications Association said it would oppose the bill because "it is completely unnecessary for the federal government to disrupt a competitive marketplace and engage in pricing and packaging of video services." FCC Chairman Kevin Martin also issued a statement that included his support for "removing regulations that keep potential competitors out of the video business." Read "IPTV."
The approach is in sharp contrast to previous efforts encouraged by the FCC to force cable providers to provide channels on an a la carte basis. McCain will also reportedly offer an unspecified reduction in the 5 percent maximum local franchise fee they pay to cities and towns for the right to offer TV service.
For more on the McCain proposal:
- see this article from the Los Angeles Times