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NCTA: No Case for a la Carte

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association told the Federal Communications Commission Friday that a la carte proponents have failed to make the case for forcing the industry to provide their programming on a pay-per-channel basis.

In reply comments to the commission, NCTA pointed out that the "vast majority" or commenters oppose a la carte because it would boost prices and decrease programming diversity.

NCTA said a la carte proponents "presented no evidence, business plan or economic model to demonstrate how cable networks would operate and consumers would benefit from a la carte.  Further, a governmental restriction that would prevent networks from negotiating for carriage on basic or expanded basic tiers is anything but a "voluntary" approach that some have suggested," it said.

Among the arguments NCTA dismissed were parallels drawn with Canada's a la carte offerings, which NCTA said were not germane.
The FCC requested comment on a la carte at the prompting of a number of legislators, led by frequent cable rate critic and Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain.