John McCain continued his fight for a la carte cable programming that would allow subscribers to pay for just the cable channels they watch on Wednesday.
The Arizona senator is speaking out in favor of changing the payment model for cable. McCain recently introduced the Television Consumer Freedom Act, which would give viewers the ability to pick the channels they want, instead of paying for cable packages that include programming they never watch.
He made his case in an editorial entitled, "Cable TV, the right way". "The American people are being ripped off," McCain declared.
He lamented the rising price of basic cable and the fact that the average viewer only watches 18 channels, despite paying for hundreds of them — which he described as a "fundamental unfairness" supported by laws that favor cable companies and television programmers. He acknowledged that the legislation faces "an uphill battle," but warned that companies only have two choices: "meet consumers' demands or become obsolete."
He also made the argument last Tuesday in a Commerce Committee hearing. McCain introduced similar legislation in 2006, but it did not make it past committee. It is sure to face stiff opposition from broadcasters and cable companies this time around, as well.