Democratic Senator Joins John McCain’s ‘a la Carte’ Cable Plan

Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal calls the current system antiquated and antidemocratic

Last Updated: July 24, 2014 @ 11:48 AM

Arizona Sen. John McCain is getting some bipartisan sponsorship on his “Television Consumer Freedom Act” that seeks to keep down cable rates by allowing consumers to choose cable channels “a la carte.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said Tuesday he would join with Republican McCain and become the lead Democratic sponsor on the legislation.

“Consumers should not have to pay for programming they don’t want or watch,” Blumenthal said in a statement. “The current antiquated, antidemocratic system imposes all-or-nothing cable packages that give consumers no control over their cable bill, and prevent subscribers from voting with their feet when they are unhappy."

Also read: John McCain Writes to FCC Urging a la Carte Cable

He compared the issue to how technological advancement and consumer demand in the '90s forced the music industry to dramatically change the way it distributed music to consumers. "Now is the time for the cable industry to do the same." 

McCain called his bill “common-sense legislation” and suggested Blumenthal’s co-sponsorship of represents “another sign that the overwhelming support for this effort among consumers is beginning to be reflected in Congress.”

McCain has long been a champion of a la carte pricing of cable channels. A former chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, McCain repeatedly pushed for legislation to incorporate a la carte in Congress and at the Federal Communications Commission to no avail. He recently lobbied the FCC on behalf of a la carte.