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McCain Seeks FCC Action on a la Carte

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has written to acting FCC chair Mignon Clyburn pitching his a la carte bill and, generally, "providing consumers with greater choice when purchasing television video."

McCain has introduced a bill that would encourage the "unbundling" of programming by distributors and programmers; establish consequences for broadcasters who choose to "downgrade" over-the-air service; and eliminates the sports blackout rule for events in publicly-financed stadiums.

In a June 12 letter to Clyburn, McCain said that the time has come to give consumers more options, and that he wants the FCC to "review the issue" and "shift the balance" toward consumers.

Most observers see little chance of Congress passing the bill, which may be why McCain is reaching out to Clyburn. But hers is likely to be only a two- or three-month stint, which would not be enough time to take up or act on such a contentious issue.