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NCTA Reiterates a la Carte Opposition

On the eve of its National Show in New Orleans and in the wake of an a la carte amendment still kicking around Congress, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association Friday reiterated its reasons for opposing a la carte tiering of cable services.

"Having the government dictate the terms of contracts between program networks and distributors, or mandate how programming must be packaged or sold, could threaten the economic underpinnings and very vitality of the multichannel video marketplace, adversely impacting cable consumers," said NCTA President Robert Sachs.
He pointed to a GAO study that concluded that a la carte pricing would "result in less choice and higher prices for consumers."
A la carte, which has been pitched as a way to reduce cable bills, has gotten extra legs thanks to the indecency crackdown and the desire by Congress to give consumers greater control over what channels they receive.
The a la carte proposal was an amendment to the satellite reauthorization bill that was apprvoed by the House Telecom Subcommittee last week. The amendment was withdrawn, but could resurface before the bill hits the floor.