John McCain (R-AZ) has weighed-in on the debate of tying and bundling television channels with his introduction of a bill to the Senate floor on Thursday. McCain addressed the Senate to argue that consumers should be allowed to have an “a la carte” capability to choose which channels they want and do not want – in essence, the unbundling of television channel packaging. The introduction of the bill comes just days after Viacom motioned in court for a dismissal of a lawsuit initiated by Cablevision, which accuses Viacom of anticompetitive behavior through the use of channel bundling. Included in the former Republican Presidential candidate’s proposal is an elimination of sports blackouts for events held in publically financed arenas. According to reports, the bill will likely meet strong resistance from cable companies; a statement from Dish Network chairman Charlie Ergen expressed doubt the bill would pass, as he sees five groups “that probably have enough clout” to block the bill in Congress.
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