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Dauman: A La Carte Not the Answer

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman told an industry audience Tuesday that proposals to bring a la carte programming to consumers will not lower content costs.

"When you really sit down and explain to legislators or regulators what would happen in a so-called a la carte world, it's not good for consumers," Dauman said at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference in New York. "The system as it exists allows a lot of choice for a reasonable price. The price to pick networks that you think you want now would go up in an a la carte world. People are fundamentally rational once you talk to them. I expect that everything that will unfold will be done in the commercial marketplace, not regulated by Washington."

The cry for a la carte offerings has grown louder in the wake of several high-profile retransmission consent blackouts – the latest a month-long dispute between Time Warner Cable and CBS was resolved on Sept. 2. Earlier this year U.S. Sen. John McCain (R – Ariz.) reopened the debate by introducing a bill that would allow consumers to pay for the channels they want to watch.

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